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Masks soon mandatory on public transit, Quebec public health director suggests – Globalnews.ca

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At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, the “worst danger” that awaits Quebec is forgetfulness, said national director of public health, Dr. Horacio Arruda, hinting that masks will soon be mandatory in public transit.

At a press conference in Quebec City on Monday afternoon, Arruda once again decried a relaxation in compliance with health regulations, such as physical distancing and wearing a face covering.

“It is important not to forget that this virus still exists,” he said, reiterating that he expects a second wave of contagion, or at least “ripples.”

“We all have a responsibility to prepare.”

To do this, the mandatory wearing of masks while using public transit is a measure “very, very strongly evaluated today.”

Read more:
‘The situation is improving,’ Quebec’s top doctor says as province resumes daily coronavirus updates

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“I invite you to listen to the press briefings for the next few days to see what is going on,” he said.

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On Tuesday, Quebec Premier François Legault, Arruda and newly-appointed Health Minister Christian Dubé will be holding a press conference in Montreal, where there is suspicion the new mandatory mask measure will be announced.

Also joining the briefing will be Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for the Montreal region and the metropolis, and Dr. Mylène Drouin, the regional director of public health for Montreal.

While on his regional tour, Arruda met with the health authorities of Capitale-Nationale on Monday. He praised their “very agile” organizational model, which, according to him, will get back on track at the slightest sign of resurgence of the virus.

“I want to recognize the exemplary work of the public health teams. I ask them to take a breath and a short vacation to be ready to attack again, if necessary, in the coming weeks or months.”

Read more:
Quebec backtracks and reinstates daily coronavirus updates

The regional director of public health, Dr. François Desbiens, echoed his colleague by warning the population against the present “summer lull.”

“If we lower our guard, the virus only awaits opportunities for transmission,” he said.

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Desbiens, who will be leaving office soon, stressed that the Capitale-Nationale region, which represents 10 per cent of the province’s population, recorded only three per cent of deaths related to COVID-19 in Quebec.

— With files from Global’s Brittany Henriques

© 2020 The Canadian Press

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Health Unit declares second outbreak, this time in North Bay long-term care facility – BayToday

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The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says it has declared the second respiratory outbreak of the day in the district, this one at Waters Edge long-term care facility in North Bay. The Health Unit adds, “The causative agent is COVID-19.”

Earlier today, the Health Unit declared an outbreak at a Parry Sound facility.

In a release concerning this latest case, the Health Unit states, “The individual who tested positive is a staff member at the long-term care home. The individual is currently in isolation. No residents at Waters Edge have tested positive for COVID-19.”

“Our staff are working with Waters Edge to provide important public health direction,” says Dr. Jim Chirico, the district’s Medical Officer of Health. “It is important that we do our best to keep our older and more vulnerable individuals safe. We remind everyone in our district to continue to practice physical distancing, use a face covering when distancing is a challenge, use proper coughing, sneezing and hand washing etiquette, and isolate when having symptoms or if they have come in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19.”

The North Bay Parry Sound catchment area has experienced some of the lowest COVID-19 positive test rates in the province. In the district, the Belvedere Heights and Waters Edge outbreaks are the third and fourth documented in a retirement or long-term care facility since the pandemic was declared in March. The other two outbreaks in the district are considered “resolved.”

According to the Ministry of Health, “An outbreak in a Long-Term Care Home is declared with a single, laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member. When only asymptomatic residents and/or staff with positive results are found as part of enhanced surveillance testing of residents and/or staff, it may not be necessary to declare an outbreak. An outbreak may be declared over when there are no new cases in residents or staff after 14 days.”

The Health Unit reminds the public there is no specific treatment for COVID-19.

“It is important to remember that most people with COVID-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. People who are mildly ill should isolate and care for themselves at home. Most will recover in one to two weeks by simply treating the symptoms. The public needs to remain cautious. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate yourself and call a testing centre to book an appointment.

The Health Unit says if you have additional questions about COVID-19, call the call centre at 1-800-563-2808 option 5 or for more information, click here.

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Heath unit in Sudbury ordering use of masks in businesses, public transit effective July 8 – CTV News

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SUDBURY —
Public Health Sudbury and Districts has issued an order mandating businesses in Sudbury to require customers to wear masks when they enter the property.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the medical officer of health, is also requiring passengers aboard city transit vehicles to wear masks. Both directive take effect July 8.

“The face covering requirement for commercial premises that are open to the public is in addition to the diligent work many are already doing to ensure physical distancing and hand sanitizers,” Sutcliffe said in a news release Friday. “Face coverings are extra protection to prevent COVID-19 spread, they also send a message that the wearer wants to protect others.”

She said the measures are in tandem with the gradual reopening of the province, which brings new risks of spreading the virus.

“Establishing common expectations about routine face covering helps reduce this risk now and will pave the way to successful Stage 3 re-opening,” Sutcliffe said. “It will also help protect us against a potential second wave in the fall and keep businesses and services up and running.”

As of July 8, city transit and businesses will have to have policies in place to stop people from entering if they are not wearing a face covering. The instructions are being issued under the authority of the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, Public Health Sudbury said.

Businesses don’t have to turn away customers

While commercial establishments are expected to use their best efforts to implement their face covering policies, there is no requirement that a business must turn away the customer not wearing a mask.

“This is in line with the ‘good faith’ enforcement framework of the Public Health Sudbury & Districts instructions, which builds on education and reminders,” the release said.

In the instruction letter sent out Friday, all employers are reminded of their ongoing responsibilities to maintain two metres distance between employees and clients, to screen employees and members of the public for COVID-19 symptoms, and to promote excellent hygiene practices including handwashing.

For the purposes of the directive, a face covering means a medical or non-medical mask or other face coverings such as a bandana, a scarf or cloth that covers the mouth and nose. Certain exemptions apply, for example, based on age or medical circumstances.

“I encourage everyone to be kind, patient, and respectful to one another,” Sutcliffe said. “How we navigate this pandemic is our individual and our shared responsibility. These latest instructions continue to count on everyone’s best intentions and my confidence is well placed. I fully expect we will show the province and the world how to do this right.”

Growing evidence shows the widespread use of face coverings decreases the spread of respiratory droplets, and expert opinion supports the widespread use of face coverings to decrease transmission of COVID-19.

Public Health is also reminding residents to follow public health guidance—wash your hands; cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a tissue; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; stay two metres apart from others; wear your face covering, and stay home when ill.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. People who are asymptomatic, who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19 are also encouraged to contact an assessment centre and get tested.

For more information please visit health unit’s website or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). 

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HPE Public Health issues order to protect farm workers – Quinte News

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Hastings Prince Edward Public Health has issued an order to local farmers to help maintain the safety of workers through the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Requirements under the order include:
  • Ensuring that appropriate accommodations and adequate essentials such as food, water, laundry, and cleaning supplies are provided to any farm workers in isolation.
  • Ensuring workers have appropriate access to health care services and other supports.
  • Implementing consistent work teams/groups to minimize number of contacts throughout the work day.
  • Conducting active screening of workers on a daily basis.
  • Maintaining physical distancing requirements as best as possible.
  • Ensuring appropriate isolation of farm workers, when required, to reduce potential transmission of COVID-19, in alignment with current provincial guidelines.
  • Ensuring that workers from any area where there is community transmission of COVID-19 have tested negative within 48 hours prior to beginning work.
Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Alexa Caturay says maintaining appropriate public health measures in farm settings is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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