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More calls to 811, long lines after officials tell Montreal bargoers to test for COVID-19 – Globalnews.ca

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Montrealers who have decided to go out to bars since they reopened in the city June 22 may have been caught off guard Saturday, when Public Health officials announced they want everyone who has been to a bar in Montreal since July 1 to get tested for COVID-19.

“In order to get in front of it, we wanted to send out a call to the whole population rather than go bar by bar or situation by situation,” Montreal Public Health doctor David Kaiser said in an interview with Global News on Sunday.

READ MORE: Montreal public health urges all bar patrons and employees to get tested for COVID-19

Sunday morning, it seemed like a lot of people got the message. The walk-in testing clinic at the Hotel Dieu Hospital had a long lineup that wrapped around the building, though Kaiser said officials hadn’t received any word testing facilities were being overwhelmed.

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He also said there had been an increase in calls to the 811 Info-Santé hotline.

I think that is a good thing. It indicates that there seems to be an uptick, and we’ll be following the capacity and demand over the next few days to make sure that if we need to ramp it up, that that’s done,” Kaiser said.

On Saturday, Montreal Public Health sent a shockwave through the city’s bars and clubs. They announced because there have been at least eight COVID-19 cases in five different Montreal bars, they’re asking everyone who’s been to or worked at a bar since Canada day to be tested.

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They hope to learn more about increasing community spread among young people between the ages of 20 and 39, and are also reacting to a rash of cases spreading among young people on the South Shore.

READ MORE: Quebec bans bars from selling alcohol after midnight to limit coronavirus outbreaks

Kaiser said if someone was sitting outdoors, there’s a lower risk of them catching the virus. However he still wants everyone who’s been to a bar to be tested.  If people don’t have COVID-19 symptoms or have not been in contact with a known positive case, they do not need to isolate while awaiting their test results.

Public health has strategically decided not to name bars that had cases.

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“What we want is for everybody who’s gone to a bar or club, a drinking establishment to maybe ask that question. ‘Well, was I in contact with a case?’ Because we really think that these few cases are the tip of a potential iceberg,” Kaiser explained.

Some establishments have shared information about outbreaks on their own. Annie’s Pub in the West Island, La Voute in the Old Port, and Nacho Libre in Rosemont have all posted details about COVID-19 cases on Facebook. Still, Kaiser thinks it could happen anywhere.

“These bars don’t stand out for having done something particularly wrong or different,” he said.

Paul Desbaillets runs the Burgundy Lion and is a member of Quebec’s New Association of Bars. He told Global News that although none of his bars have had any known COVID-19 cases, he’s ready to comply with Public Health’s request and go for a test himself. He’s even planning to share the experience online to show it’s not a big deal.

“Is it the first thing that I’d want to do waking up Monday morning? Probably not. But is it something that’s important to do? Absolutely,” he said.

Desbaillets won’t demand his customers get tested, saying that’s up to them. But he wants to show the government and the public his bars are safe.

“Everybody is doing just about all that can be done to make people feel comfortable to return and to come out and to support their local establishments,” he said.

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Kaiser said the testing blitz is temporary, but can’t say how long the request will be active. Once officials are able to crunch the data, he said recommendations will likely change yet again.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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BC records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths – Fernie Free Press

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From Friday to Monday B.C. recorded 131 new COVID-19 infections, bringing the total number of active confirmed cases as of Monday (Aug. 10) to 445.

Nine of those people are battling the disease in hospital, three of whom are in critical care or intensive care, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed in a news conference Monday afternoon.

Broken down by day, 50 people tested positive for the respiratory illness Friday to Saturday, 37 on Saturday to Sunday and a further 44 on Sunday to Monday.

There have been no new deaths, leaving the total to 195 lives lost linked to the novel coronavirus.

Many of those who tested positive over the weekend were linked to prior cases, Henry said. There are currently 1,765 identified by contact tracing for being in close contact with an infected person who are self-monitoring or in touch with public health staff.

More to come.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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Manitobans to get more detailed regional breakdown of COVID-19 cases this week, says minister – CBC.ca

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Manitobans can expect to get more details about where new COVID-19 cases are popping up by the end of the week, but it’s not yet clear how specific that information will be.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen said Monday the province will begin releasing more “nuanced” geographical breakdowns of where new cases emerge beginning later this week — a significant shift since the virus arrived in the province five months ago

Up until now, the province has generally only identified the regional health authority of new cases, occasionally offering more pointed information depending on the public health risk in those areas.

Moving forward those regions will be split down into finer zones or districts, said Friesen.

The impetus for the shift is that the province knows more now than it did in March when the coronavirus officially arrived in Manitoba, he said.

“We don’t think there’s any benefit in someone knowing that someone has COVID-19 that lives four blocks down from you or down the street, but it’s this balancing act of providing good information in a timely way to Manitobans and then of course on the other side making sure there isn’t a negative effect from over-identification.”

Another change that’s on the way is linked to hard-hit communities, said Manitoba’s chief public health officer.

Dr. Brent Roussin suggested that if things get out of control, certain communities in particular could see a return to past restrictions.

“As we move forward our approach is to not have widespread restrictions, take a much more surgical approach as any restrictions are required,” said Dr. Brent Roussin.

He said health officials don’t yet have anything too specific in mind. He didn’t share a possible timeline for region-specific restrictions. 

But Roussin made the comments Monday after announcing 16 new cases and addressing a cluster in Brandon that has soared to at least 64.

COVID-19 cases in Manitoba have shifted from prevalence in the Winnipeg health region in April (illustrated by the red dots) to the Prairie Mountain Health (yellow) and Southern Health (blue) regions. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

Most of the active cases are in Prairie Mountain and Southern health regions.

There are early signs of community spread in Brandon, which is when health officials are unable to confirm where someone got the virus, but most of the clusters cases have a known source, he said.

That’s why Brandon hasn’t been hit with restrictions — yet.

“We’re certainly talking about Brandon where we see this cluster,” he said. “That area should be taking extra caution.”

Roussin acknowledged increasing enforcement is an option but he would prefer to see businesses, organizations and individual take actions now to prevent that.

“By messaging, by things that Manitobans have learned, this is our opportunity to live with the virus, not shut things down,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be necessary to have to enforce these things to protect the health of Manitobans, but we will.”

The red bars illustrate the daily number of active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba. (Jacques Marcoux/CBC)

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B.C. records 131 new COVID-19 cases over three days, as active cases surge past 400 – Global News

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Health officials reported 131 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C. over the past three days and no new deaths.

There were 50 cases from Friday to Saturday, 37 cases Saturday to Sunday, and 44 from Sunday to Monday.

The number of active cases in the province jumped from 386 on Friday to 445, an increase of just over 15 per cent.






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B.C. health officials to provide latest on COVD-19 curve


B.C. health officials to provide latest on COVD-19 curve

There are 4,065 confirmed cases of the disease in B.C. Of those, 3,425 patients have fully recovered, or about 84 per cent.

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B.C.’s death toll from COVID-19 remains at 195 as the province has not recorded a death related to the virus since July 31.

Nine COVID-19 patients are in hospital, a decrease of two since Friday. Three of those patients are in intensive care, a decrease of one.

The province says 1,765 people are in self-isolation.

Health officials have repeatedly warned B.C. residents as more COVID-19 cases emerge from large social gatherings.

Three Vancouver police officers and two Vancouver police patrols are in isolation after breaking up an out-of-control party with more than 100 people attending, Ralph Kaisers, president of the Vancouver Police Union, said on social media on Friday.






9:02
Global BC political panel: August 9


Global BC political panel: August 9

Kaisers told Global News the party took place in an apartment in downtown Vancouver in late July.

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Between 16 to 20 officers are in self-isolation as a result, Kaisers said.

In addition, hundreds of people are now self-isolating following a house party in North Vancouver.

“The numbers of contacts related to that are in the 400 range,” B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said on Thursday.

People under the age of 40 make up a disproportionately large number of coronavirus cases in the Okanagan and throughout the wider Interior Health region, according to statistics from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Read more:
People under 40 make up half of coronavirus cases in B.C.’s Interior Health

Forty-seven per cent of diagnosed cases in the Interior Health region involve people aged 20 to 40, compared to a provincial average of 34 per cent for the same age demographic.

The rise in coronavirus cases among young people is related to private parties in and around Kelowna, B.C., over the Canada Day long weekend, health officials have said.

The news conference at 3 p.m. will be carried live on BC1, on our website, the Global BC Facebook page and CKNW.

— With files from Amy Judd and Shelby Thom

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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