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Medicine Hat's active COVID-19 case count drops to four – CHAT News Today



Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the low number on Friday is the net difference between Thursday and Friday after adjusting for previously clinically reported cases.

The total number of COVID-19 cases across the province stands at 17,749. There are 1,549 active cases, up 52 from Friday, and 15,935 recovered cases, up 350.

There are currently 63 Albertans in hospital, 15 in ICU. There have been 265 deaths, an increase of four from Friday.

The province conducted 51,264 tests in the past 72 hours – 16,318 on Sept. 25, 16,365 on Sept. 26 and 18,581 on Sept. 27.

Hinshaw addressed recent questions she’s heard about herd immunity, saying estimates of the percentage of immune people needed to achieve successful herd immunity for coronavirus range from 50 to 70 per cent and that she disagrees with herd immunity.

“Serology studies in Canada have estimated that we are only at about one per cent or less of our population who have been infected.”

She said the suggestion that because young people are generally at low risk of severe outcomes that the virus should be allowed to spread quickly among that population does not take into account the drawbacks of the approach.

“COVID-19 can spread rapidly and we are all interconnected. Adopting a herd immunity approach would have a serious and deadly impact on many people in the population,” she said. “Even if we could put perfect protection in place for those who live in congregate settings like long-term care while letting the virus spread freely elsewhere, we cannot simply dictate where and how the virus will spread.”

“Adopting an approach focused on herd immunity would place many older Albertans or those with underlying conditions at-risk and lead to many more deaths across our province.”

In Alberta, the risk of death for those diagnosed with COVID-19 is about 18 per cent for those over 70 years old, less than half a per cent for those 40-69 and “vanishingly small” for those under 40.

She also said that death is not the only severe outcome. One in every 67 people between the ages of 20 and 39 diagnosed with COVID has needed hospitalization. The number rises to one in 18 for those 40-69 and one in four for those over 70.

The health system could be overloaded by that much of an increase in hospitalization, Hinshaw said.

She said collective action is the key to protecting each other from the risks of the virus and risks of strict restrictions.

Hinshaw provided her update via video after she developed a sore throat last week.

“As I have said many times, it is important to stay home when sick and get tested even if the symptoms are mild,” she said, adding her COVID test was negative and she will be working from home until her symptoms resolve.

She asked people to follow her lead, but acknowledged not everyone can do their job remotely.

“I know that staying home is not easy and that many Albertans face difficult financial or other choices. Most of us have worked with sore throats or runny noses many, many times. However, during COVID that’s not a risk that I or anyone else should take.”

Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced at the regular media availability that more than one million Albertans have been tested for COVID-19 at least once during the coronavirus pandemic, which he called a remarkable accomplishment for the health-care system.

Shandro said that Alberta has the strongest and most dynamic testing program in the country.

“While other provinces have faced massive lineups or consistently narrow testing criteria, Alberta has been a leader,” he said. He praised the early efforts of Alberta Health Services to order lab supplies, offer asymptomatic testing and work with community pharmacies to increase capacity.

He said work to speed up testing and expand capacity further will continue.

There are now 47 schools in the province where outbreaks have been declared. Alberta Health’s threshold for declaring an outbreak in school is two cases being in a school while infectious within 14 days.

No local schools are classified as having outbreaks on the provincial website.

The website Support Our Students is tracking instances of cases in schools across the province. The only local school on the list remains Ecole St. John Paul II, which was added in late August.

There are eight new cases in the South Zone, which now has 1,828 total cases. There are 38 active cases and 1,765 recovered. There are currently six COVID-19 cases in hospital in the South Zone, two in the ICU, and the zone total remains at 25 deaths.

Cypress County has totaled 33 cases – the two new cases and the rest recovered.

The County of Forty Mile has 40 total cases. There are 13 active cases and the rest are recovered.

The MD of Taber has 44 total cases — four active cases and the rest recovered.

Special Areas No. 2 has 13 total cases, all of which are recovered.

Brooks has 1,133 total cases —1,121 are recovered and three are active. Brooks has recorded nine deaths.

The County of Newell has a total of 32 cases — 30 recovered and there have been two deaths.

The County of Warner has 63 total cases. There is one active case, 61 are recovered cases and there has been one death in the county.

The City of Lethbridge has a total of 172 cases. There are three active cases, 167 recovered and there have been two deaths. Lethbridge County has 48 cases, five active cases and the rest recovered.

The figures on are “up-to-date as of end of day Sept. 27, 2020.”

Read the full Sept. 28 update from the province here.

Saskatchewan reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, none in the South Zones.

Saskatchewan has a total of 1,892 cases, 149 considered active. There are 1,719 recovered cases and there have been 24 COVID-19 deaths in the province. On Saturday, two cases were removed from the provincial total after they were deemed to be non-Saskatchewan residents.

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Take a step back from social interactions, says B.C.'s top doctor – Richmond News



VICTORIA — British Columbia reported 223 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, tipping the number of active infections over 2,000.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says in a statement infections have been detected at two more assisted-living or long-term care homes and there are two new community outbreaks.

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The latest health-care outbreaks are at Laurel Place in Surrey and Fair Haven Homes at Burnaby Lodge, while the community outbreaks involve Coast Spas Manufacturing and Pace Processing in Langley.

Outbreaks at a number of other care homes have been declared over, leaving 16 homes and two acute-care facilities with active infections.

Seventy-five people are in hospital, including 24 in intensive care, but no one else has died from the illness since the province’s last update.

Henry says contact tracing teams throughout the province are working around the clock, but their success depends on everyone taking a step back from social interactions.

There are nearly 4,640 people under public health monitoring as a result of exposure to a known case.

B.C. has confirmed 12,554 cases of COVID-19 so far.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.

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Health officials announce 223 new coronavirus cases in BC | News – Daily Hive



Health officials in British Columbia have announced 223 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of known cases in the province to 12,554.

In a written statement on Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said that broken down by health region, this equates to 4,319 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 6,864 in the Fraser Health region, 250 in the Island Health region, 662 in the Interior Health region, 371 in the Northern Health region, and 88 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

There are 2,009 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 4,637 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.

Currently, 75 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 24 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

There have been two new healthcare facility outbreaks at Laurel Place and Fair Haven Homes Burnaby Lodge. The outbreaks at PICS Assisted Living, Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre, Chartwell Carrington House Retirement Residence, and Thornebridge Gardens Retirement Residence have been declared over. In total, 16 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and two acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

There have been two new community outbreaks at Coast Spas Manufacturing and Pace Processing. There also continue to be exposure events around the province. Public alerts and notifications are posted on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) website and on all health authorities’ websites.

There have been no new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 256 deaths in British Columbia.

A total of 10,247 people who tested positive have recovered.

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Record 274 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in B.C., including five in Island Health – Times Colonist



British Columbia has seen a ­second day of record-high COVID-19 cases, with 274 new cases reported on Thursday.

B.C. reported more than 200 new infections for the first time on Wednesday, with 203 confirmed cases.

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There were five new cases reported in the Island Health region Thursday, bringing the total number of active cases to 15. There has also been a new COVID-19 exposure at a Vancouver Island school, Island Health said.

Families at Wood Elementary School in Port Alberni received a letter Wednesday saying a member of the school community has tested positive for COVID-19.

The exposure happened on Oct. 19 and the health authority will use contact tracing to notify staff and students who need to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

People who have been asked to self-isolate received a phone call, while those told to self-monitor were notified by letter.

Those who have not been contacted should continue to attend school and monitor for symptoms, according to the letter, signed by Dr. Shannon Waters, medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley region, and Pacific Rim school district superintendent Greg Smyth.

The latest school exposure on the Island follows two previous school exposures in September: One at Carihi Secondary in Campbell River on Sept. 28 and one at Alberni Secondary in Port Alberni on Sept. 22.

B.C. has seen its first school outbreak, at Kelowna’s Ecole de l’Anse-au-Sable School, where five cases have been confirmed.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said despite the school outbreak, there’s no indication the return to in-person classes has caused COVID-19 to spread.

Since in-person classes resumed on Sept. 10, here have been 213 exposure warnings of COVID-19 cases linked to a school, Henry said. There have been six “clusters” where more than one person linked to a school was infected and the Kelowna case is the first outbreak, she said. An outbreak outside a health facility is declared when at least two people test positive.

“We are not seeing return to school cause the amplification [of infections] in our community,” Henry said.

“While it’s concerning that we have an outbreak, what I think is positive about this is that we are monitoring all of the exposure events and we have had very little transmission in the schools and public health has been working with schools across the province to keep it that way.”

Henry said the majority of new COVID-19 cases are concentrated around the Lower Mainland, with 203 new cases in the Fraser Health region on Thursday.

The Fraser Health authority confirmed outbreaks at several long-term care homes and assisted-living facilities. The province has 1,920 active cases, with 71 people in hospital, 24 of whom are in critical care.

Henry said people are also travelling across the province and coming to B.C. from other parts of Canada, which increases the risk of spreading the virus.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has warned of a COVID-19 exposure on a flight to Victoria on Oct. 15. There was a confirmed case on Air Canada flight 195 from Toronto that day, and passengers in rows 17-23 are advised to self-isolate and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.

Gatherings such as weddings, funerals and Thanksgiving meals have caused significant spread of the coronavirus in the province, said Henry, adding as the cold weather sets in and events move indoors, there’s a higher risk for the virus to spread.

People getting married should consider having a civil ceremony and waiting until next year to hold a larger gathering with extended family and friends, she said.

The maximum gathering size remains 50 people, but as flu season begins, people need to be extra cautious and limit gatherings to their households plus their “safe six” bubbles, Henry said.

“You may think the risk doesn’t apply to you because you live far away from the Lower Mainland. But we have seen on many occasions … that COVID‑19 knows no boundaries and impacts us all.”

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