Over the next two years, Ontarians will hear a lot about physical distancing, predicts the region’s medical officer of health.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit released new modelling projections today, alongside the province’s own release of the same, and said the modelling showed the need for physical distancing to continue — in waves of restrictions — over the next 24 months.
“What is most effective in these models is the physical distancing that we do and also the case and contact follow-up that the health unit does,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the region.
“This can make an enormous difference. I think we’re seeing evidence that we’re having an effect with this approach, all of us together.”
Among the key findings of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is this: “Without physical distancing being applied for at least 12 of the next 24 months, it is projected that Ontario would not have enough hospital (intensive care unit) beds.”
According to Gardner, the virus will come and go in cycles, and so too should public health control measures like physical distancing and business closures.
“Until we get a vaccine, we’re going to have cycles of the virus coming and going,” said Gardner. “It’s still circulating in our community. The potential is still there.”
Another finding listed in the SMDHU report on its latest modelling numbers suggest a repeated cycle of physical distancing that lifts physical distancing rules and replaces them when cases start to reappear would both prevent the health-care system from being overwhelmed and still allow mental health and economic breaks for people.
However, the question of when to start lifting physical distancing controls is complex.
“I don’t think anybody has the definitive answer,” said Gardner, who is part of a provincial working group that is considering the question. “Everything needs to be coming down and not up. You have to be beyond the peak and going down before you could consider backing away from controls.”
Backing off of controls would also mean preparing for a surge and keeping surveillance going in the province for early detection of a new wave of spread.
“We would also need to know that our system would be ready if we backed away from controls and then you had a resurgence of cases,” said Gardner. “You have to make sure the health care system is well-prepared with intensive care unit beds and ventilators.”
He said engagement with the community will also be key, and controls should be relaxed slowly and in areas where it would be less harmful.
For example, controls in long-term care homes would be the last to be lifted.
“We have the potential to learn from other countries that are beginning to do this,” said Gardner.
According to the province of Ontario modelling released today, we are currently in a peak for virus cases. Gardner said the region is seeing a flattening of the curve, but not a drop.
“We’re plateauing, but we’re certainly not coming down,” said Gardner. “It’s too soon to be actually doing it, but not too soon to be asking how and when we’ll be doing it.”
The modelling data released by the health unit today predicts between 130 and 200 cases confirmed through lab testing and about 15 to 20 deaths in the month of April.
There are now 202 cases in the region, but 52 of those cases were reported in March. There have been 12 deaths attributed to COVID-19 reported in Simcoe County and Muskoka.
BlackburnNews.com – Six more COVID-19 recoveries in Lambton – BlackburnNews.com
Six more COVID-19 recoveries in Lambton
June 6, 2020 7:02am
Lambton Public Health is reporting six more COVID-19 recoveries.
The health unit reported Friday night that of 267 confirmed cases, 223 have now recovered.
The death toll remains unchanged since Tuesday at 24.
Lambton Public Health has now received the results from 7,861 tests, 96 per cent of which have been negative for COVID-19.
Bluewater Health reported Friday that 12 patients were in hospital confirmed to have the virus, and 26 were in hospital suspected of having it with tests pending.
Trucker brings in another case of COVID-19 as two new cases emerge Friday – Winnipeg Sun
Another case of COVID-19 in a truck driver, and one in a close household contact of that driver, were reported by public health officials on Friday.
The two new cases bring the province’s total to an even 300 since the outbreak began in early March. The cases are both from Winnipeg. One is in a man in his 30s and another in a man in his 20s.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said the trucker who tested positive had travelled outside of the province.
Other details were sparse, including if the driver had self-isolated or not.
“I don’t have a lot of details on that as of yet, the public health investigation is ongoing,” Roussin said.
Last week, two cases in truck drivers that had travelled into the U.S. for work were also reported.
Roussin said no new measures are going to be implemented in terms of testing truck drivers or requiring them to self-isolate upon return from international or domestic travel.
Currently, all truck drivers can access asymptomatic testing, but Roussin said they cannot disrupt supply chains into the province.
The province’s active caseload jumped to nine with the two new cases as no new recoveries were announced. There have been 284 total recoveries thus far.
The death toll in Manitoba remains at seven, and no one is in hospital at the moment.
The Cadham Provincial Laboratory processed 671 tests on Thursday, bringing the running total since early February to 47,372.
Meanwhile, changes to the hours of operation at community testing sites in Brandon, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach and Winkler, as well as at Thunderbird House in Winnipeg, come into effect this weekend.
Due to low patient volumes, these sites are now closed on Sundays.
KNOWLEDGE, ROAD TESTS RESUME
Manitoba Public Insurance is resuming knowledge tests for all licence classes and road test bookings for Class 1 licences effective immediately, a release said on Friday.
Customers are encouraged to book Class 5 and 6 knowledge tests online. For those who cannot book online, MPI is allowing customers who phone their Autopac agent to perform certain critical transactions over the phone or by email.
For Class 1 road tests, drivers will be required to provide and wear their own mask, be screened prior to the test and sanitize all touchpoints in their vehicle.
Knowledge test customers will be asked to arrive on-site 15 minutes prior to their appointment.
Ripples from coronavirus research scandal rocks global scientific community – RFI English
Issued on: 06/06/2020 – 12:02Modified: 06/06/2020 – 12:02
The first research scandal of the coronavirus pandemic has created unnecessary distraction around the politically divisive drug hydroxychloroquine, scientists say.
This as questions swirl around the tiny health care company at the center of the affair.
On Thursday, most of the authors of major studies that appeared in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) retracted their work.
The issued apologies, saying they could no longer vouch for their data after the firm that supplied it — Chicago-based Surgisphere — refused to be audited.
At any other time the matter might have led to hang-wringing within academia, but it has taken on a new dimension as the world grapples with a virus that has claimed some 400,000 lives.
Of particular interest was the paper in The Lancet that claimed to have analyzed the records of 96,032 patients admitted to 671 hospitals across six continents, finding that hydroxychloroquine showed no benefit and even increased the risk of death.
Its withdrawal is seen as a boost to backers of the decades-old anti-malarial drug, who include US President Donald Trump and his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro.
“It’s very politicized — there is a group, probably not particularly small, who have learned to mistrust science and scientists, and this just feeds into that narrative,” Gabe Kelen, a professor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins University, told French new agency AFP.
This is despite the fact that even without The Lancet paper, evidence has been building against hydroxychloroquine’s use against COVID-19.
On Friday, results from a fourth randomized controlled trial — carefully designed human experiments considered the most robust form of clinical investigation — showed it had no impact against the virus.
The Lancet, which first published in 1823, is one of the world’s most trusted medical journals.
As a result, the hydroxychloroquine paper had an outsized impact: the World Health Organization, Britain and France all suspended ongoing clinical trials.
But things soon began unravelling after researchers noticed numerous red flags, from the huge number of patients involved to the unusual level of detail about the doses they had received.
Both The Lancet and the equally prestigious NEJM, which had published a paper on whether blood thinners elevated the risk of COVID-19 that relied on the same company, issued expressions of concern — before the authors themselves pulled both papers.
Role of Surgisphere
Surgisphere, founded in 2007 by vascular surgeon Sapan Desai, had refused to share data with third-party reviewers, saying it would violate privacy agreements with hospitals.
However, when science news site The Scientist began reaching out to hospitals throughout the US to ask whether they had participated, it found none.
Surgisphere’s internet profile has also raised numerous questions. Only a handful of employees could be found on LinkedIn, and most have now deactivated their accounts.
According to the Guardian newspaper, its employees included an adult model and until last week the contact page on its website redirected to a WordPress template for a cryptocurrency website, leaving it unclear how hospitals could have reached out to them.
Meanwhile Desai, who according to court records has three outstanding medical malpractice suits against him, has written extensively in the past on research misconduct.
“The most serious cause of fraud in medical publishing is manufactured data that authors use to support high impact conclusions,” he said in a 2013 paper.
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BlackburnNews.com – Six more COVID-19 recoveries in Lambton – BlackburnNews.com
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