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Masks mandated in Strathcona County, Edmonton covid19 cases rise

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A woman wears a face mask on Saskatchewan Drive in Edmonton on August 17, 2020. Photo by DAVID BLOOM / Postmedia

Alberta’s chief officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced on Monday, October 5 that the province is looking at additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as Edmonton’s active cases rise to 894. 126 new cases were identified in Edmonton over the weekend.

Hinshaw noted the large number of new cases is concerning. There has been an escalation of cases in the city and the reproductive rate of the virus has increased to 1.3.

“We are taking this seriously and looking closely at what causes are driving this increase that we are seeing,” Hinshaw said.

“Through conversation with local public health and the city, we are determining if additional measures should be recommended in the city to bring transmission down.”

As of Tuesday, October 6, Fort Saskatchewan has four active cases of the coronavirus and Sturgeon County has 6 active cases. Strathcona County cases reached 27, pushing the mandatory mask bylaw into place.

In August, Strathcona County Council approved a temporary mandatory face-covering bylaw for indoor public places and public vehicles when Alberta Health Services reports 25 or more active cases in the municipality.

“We’ve done very well dealing with COVID-19, this is just one more safeguard that kicks in now,” Strathcona County Mayor Rod Frank said in a video posted to social media.

While no specific measures have been settled on provincially, Hinshaw said health officials will be looking at the surge in cases over the weekend. She emphasized the new cases seen now are a reflection of transmission events that happened one to two weeks ago.

“We should expect, no matter what changes we may or may not choose to make in the coming days to weeks, we will … likely see high numbers of cases over the next one to two weeks which is a product of past transmission.

“We’re looking at those transmission patterns to help us understand what would be most effective and if there are other changes that we need to make to our framework to prevent Edmonton from continuing to have increasing numbers of new cases.”

The city of Edmonton remains on the provincial watchlist and currently has 87.5 active cases per 100,000 people.

An “alarming trend” that has been identified through a review of active cases is that 11 per cent are attending work or going to social gatherings while symptomatic and awaiting test results, Hinshaw said.

“This is a significant risk and is one of the factors causing our case numbers to rise,” Hinshaw said.

Hinshaw is urging Albertans to stay home if they are sick, including this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Gatherings should be kept as small as possible and limited to household and cohort numbers.

“If you are even slightly sick, don’t go to a Thanksgiving event and don’t host one at your home. The greatest tragedy would be to have Thanksgiving dinner turn into an opportunity for COVID to spread to our loved ones, potentially with severe consequences.”

The province recorded 97 new cases on Friday, 263 new cases on Saturday and 218 new cases on Sunday.

There are currently 62 people in hospital and of those, 14 are in the intensive care unit.

Eight more people have died of COVID-19, bringing the total to 280. The deaths include a man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s from the Edmonton Zone not in continuing care. Two other deaths of a man in his 90s and a woman in her 70s are linked to the Extendicare Eaux Claire outbreak in Edmonton.

The deaths of a woman in her 90s and a woman in her 60s are linked to an outbreak at Millwoods Shepherd’s Care Centre in Edmonton.

In Canada, there have been 168,960 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,504 deaths, the latest numbers from Health Canada show. Globally, there have been 35,109,317 confirmed cases and 1,035,341 deaths, the World Health Organization reports.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to play out, the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) released findings from its first comprehensive survey, with a goal of understanding the experiences of Albertans during COVID-19.

“We’re learning a lot about what Albertans are experiencing with respect to healthcare services, and their own health and wellness, as a result of the pandemic,” says Charlene McBrien Morrison, acting CEO of the HQCA.

“We are also conducting additional, more targeted surveys of families and residents of continuing care sites across the province, and seniors living in lodge settings. As Alberta prepares for a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases, it’s important these valuable insights help inform the ongoing response to this pandemic.”

Thousands of Albertans provided feedback in the HQCA’s public survey from May and June 2020. The survey revealed that while two-thirds (65%) reported feeling protected from COVID-19 infection, the pandemic affected the health and wellness of many Albertans.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) reported experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression during the pandemic, which they found difficult to cope with.

Top challenges identified include maintaining relationships (50%), difficulty sleeping (48%), inability to exercise as normal (48%) and loneliness (46%).

30% delayed seeking healthcare during the pandemic. Of those, over one in five (22%) said delaying their healthcare affected their health greatly or quite a bit.

Information about COVID-19was frequently sought by Albertans (73% checking for news at least once a day), and they relied heavily on Dr. Deena Hinshaw as their most trusted source of information.

Three-quarters (74%) said the advice received in their virtual healthcare visit was helpful, while nearly two-thirds (62%) are receptive to continuing to receive virtual care going forward.

Full survey results are available at hqca.ca/covid-19results.

 The HQCA has requested Albertans participate in its COVID-19 Experiences and Impact Survey again to assess changes in their experiences since June and to provide insights on additional topics such as school re-opening measures, mask use, and comfort levels related to a potential future vaccine.

The survey is once again open to all Albertans over the age of 16, and available from albertacovidsurvey.com.

Source: – The Kingston Whig-Standar

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Peterborough Public Health holding virtual town hall meeting for parents – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

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Peterborough Public Health is inviting parents and caregivers to join a live online conversation with medical officer of health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra on Monday night when she will address frequently asked questions about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

The free online event will take place on Monday from 7 to 7:30 p.m. using Microsoft Teams.

Questions for Salvaterra can be submitted in advance by email at info@peterboroughpublichealth.ca by Friday at 4 p.m.

Salvaterra will give a 15-minute slide presentation at the online event addressing many of the questions she’s heard frequently from parents about how to curb the spread of COVID-19 at school.

Participants will also be able to ask questions on the spot, using the online chat function.

The event will be recorded and later posted to the health unit website’s school reopening page.

“It should be an informative event, and I shall introduce you to our amazing school health team,” Salvaterra said Wednesday during her virtual weekly briefing about the pandemic.

She also said during that press conference that there were no institutional outbreaks as of Wednesday in Peterborough (including in schools).

“This is very impressive, considering how far into the school year we now are,” Salvaterra said.

Registration information is available on Eventbrite at eventbrite.ca/e/schools-covid-19-virtual-live-presentation-for-parents-tickets-126130747461

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joelle.kovach@peterboroughdaily.com

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NB Reports Fourth Death Related To Covid-19 – Huddle – Huddle Today

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FREDERICTON – New Brunswick health officials reported the province’s fourth death related to the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday.

The province said a person in their 70s died Wednesday in Zone 5 (Campbellton region) from “underlying complications, including Covid-19.”

“The loss of another person in our province related to Covid-19 is not news we ever want to have to share,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release.

“I, along with all New Brunswickers, send sincere condolences to the family and friends of this individual, as well as to everyone who continues to be impacted by the recent outbreaks.”

The announcement comes just three days after the province recorded its third death related to Covid-19 on Sunday. The person in their 60s lived at the Notre Dame Manor special care home in Moncton.

Health officials also reported six new cases of Covid-19 and eight more recoveries on Wednesday for a total of 92 active cases.

All of the new cases are in Zone 5 and remain under investigation, said the province. They include one person under 19, one person in their 30s, two people in their 40s, one person in their 50s, and one person in their 60s.

Five people are currently in the hospital, including one person in intensive care.

“It has been difficult to witness the unfolding outbreak in the Campbellton-Restigouche region,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health, in a statement.

Zone 1 (Moncton region) and Zone 5 remain at the Orange level under the province’s Covid-19 recovery plan.

It is anticipated that Zone 1 will return to the Yellow level on Friday while Zone 5 will remain at the Orange level.

Brad Perry is the news director with Country 94/97.3 The Wave, a Huddle content partner.

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St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto declares COVID-19 outbreak among ER staff – Sudbury.com

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TORONTO — Another hospital in downtown Toronto has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 among its staff.

Unity Health says there are five active coronavirus cases among emergency room staff at St. Michael’s Hospital.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the health network says “no patient cases have been identified to date” and the risk of patient exposure is low.

However, it recommends anyone who visited the ER at St. Michael’s within the last two weeks to self-monitor.

The hospital is one of four in Toronto that have declared COVID-19 outbreaks in recent days.

The others are St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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