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More Canadian women have COVID-19 and are dying as a result. Here's some possible reasons why –



More men have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, across the world than women — except in Canada.

According to the latest data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, more women have been diagnosed with COVID-19 than men, and more women have died as a result. As of May 15, 55 per cent of confirmed cases of COVID-19 are women, and 45 per cent are men.

Of the total deaths, 53 per cent are women and 47 per cent are men.

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The provinces with the highest number of cases and deaths — Quebec and Ontario — also have starker gaps between the genders, according to daily provincial epidemiologic summaries.

In Ontario, currently around 57 per cent of those infected are women, while close to 42 per cent are men. Similarly, in Quebec, close to 60 per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases are women and around 54 per cent of deaths are also women.

This kind of data stands out from other countries who track coronavirus cases, as the vast majority have had more men than women die of COVID-19 since the emergence of the virus, according to Global Health 50/50, an organization out of the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health in London, England.

Why more women are possibly dying

It’s difficult to discern why women are being more affected by COVID-19 in Canada, but there are several factors that could impact how the virus impacts different genders, says Colin Furness, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto who specializes in infection control.

One possible reason could be because there are more female residents in Canada’s long-term care homes, where the brunt of the cases and deaths in Canada are concentrated, Furness said.

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Eighty-two per cent of Canada’s COVID-19-related deaths have been in nursing homes, according to the National Institute on Aging.

“Because of life expectancy differences, you are going to have more women represented in ,” Furness said, pointing out that Canadian women have higher life expectancies than men.

Data published in 2018 by Statistics Canada found that women were more likely to be widowed than men, and were more likely to be living in a nursing home or seniors’ residence.

Other countries are not seeing their long-term care homes ravaged by COVID-19 to the extent that Canada has. A study by the International Long-Term Care Policy Network published this month found that compared to 14 other countries, Canada had the most COVID-19-related deaths in long-term care.

Along with a higher representation in nursing homes, women are also more likely to work in “caring” professions that involve a lot of interaction with other people, Furness said.

This includes jobs like personal support workers (PSWs), like those who work in long-term care homes, he said. A recent study on PSWs in Canada found that workers are largely women and people of colour and/or immigrants.

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A report published in February by the Ontario Health Coalition found that Ontario is facing a shortage of PSWs as many leave the profession due to being overworked, underpaid or injured on the job.

Last month, after a second PSW in Ontario died due to COVID-19, the union representing health care workers across the province blamed their deaths due to a lack of available personal protective equipment (PPE).

A report by Global News in April also found that long-term care homes across the country are struggling to access PPE. 

Intersection of race and gender

It’s also important to assess exactly which women are being impacted by COVID-19, said Suzanne Sicchia, an associate professor at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

If data on race and socioeconomic status is collected, it’s likely to show women of colour are being disproportionately impacted, she said. More women of colour are employed as personal support workers in Canada, and research has found that people of colour often have worse health outcomes.

Canada should also be collecting data when it comes to the care work women do, personally and professionally, she said.

Coronavirus: 3rd Ontario personal support worker dies from COVID-19

“Paid or unpaid, women’s care work, for the sick and elderly at home, in their extended family, in their communities, is another possible source of elevated risk of infection,” Sicchia said.

Many often think health is shaped by lifestyle choices or genetics, which are important. But it’s crucial to remember there are a multitude of other factors that shape the health of individuals or populations including income, employment, social status and racism, Sicchia said.

While more women in long-term care along with the number of women working as care providers are factors, it’s difficult to make concrete assessments without consistent data being collected by governments, Sicchia said.

“Undoubtedly there are other determinants at play, and this is why more research and the collection of race-based data and data on other intersecting determinants of health is so important.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Aug. 9 –



Recent developments:

  • Ottawa Public Health reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the city’s total to 2,623.
  • Some private cannabis retailers in Ottawa say Ontario’s move to Stage 3 has meant a drop in their sales. 
  • The Nunavut government is spending millions to have their residents self-isolate in an Ottawa hotel before returning to the territory.

What’s the latest?

On Saturday, Ottawa Public Health reported 13 new cases of COVID-19, the fourth day of double-digit increases since an earlier drop in the number of new cases early last week. 

Ontario also reported fewer than 100 cases of COVID-19 for the sixth straight day. There were only 70 new cases across the province Saturday.

The Government of Nunavut has spent nearly $5 million since the end of March to house more than 1,200 of its residents at an Ottawa hotel so they can self-isolate before returning home. The territory is taking these steps to keep its COVID-19 case count at zero.

Some cannabis retailers in Ottawa are decrying the province’s move to halt home deliveries late last month. They said they’ve seen a drop in sales they attribute to the province’s decision.

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began. The number of deaths is at 264.

The majority of cases in the city — 2,204 — are classified as resolved.

In all, public health officials have reported more than 4,000 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 3,400 cases resolved.


COVID-19 has killed 102 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.

Experts analyzing blood tests said last week the number of people infected with the coronavirus in Ontario could be four times more than previously confirmed and in Quebec, more than twice as many.

What’s open and closed?

Ottawa is now in Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan, which means many more businesses are allowed to reopen, including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must adhere to physical distancing guidelines.

Quebec has similar rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.

A customer puts on a mask as they arrive at a store in Ottawa in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The Canada Aviation and Space Museum opened to the public this weekend.

Most Ottawa Public Library branches will be open for in-person browsing and computer use Aug. 17.

Elementary students in Ontario will be heading back to school full time come September, while most high school students will split their time between the classroom and online learning, depending on the board. 

Quebec’s back-to-school plans will bring students to classrooms again this fall.

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MPPs Stephen Blais and Joel Harden say the provincial government is not providing enough funding for schools to be able to decrease class sizes and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks upon students’ return in the fall. 1:30

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes on another person or object. People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone they don’t live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.

A girl walks in the shallow waters of the Rideau River near the Adàwe Crossing in Ottawa. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, where transit officials and taxi drivers are now required to bar access to users over age 12 who refuse to wear one.

Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can’t stay the proper distance from others.

Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result in Ontario must self-isolate at least until they know the result. Quebec asks people waiting to only self-isolate in certain circumstances.

People in both provinces should self-isolate if they’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for people with weakened immune systems and OPH recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible. 

Top medical officials say people should be prepared for the possibility COVID-19 restrictions last into 2022 or 2023.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a dry cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of three sites.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a cart at an elementary school in the United States. (Charlie Neibergall/The Associated Press)

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

In Kingston, the Leon’s Centre is hosting the city’s test site. Find it at Gate 2.

Napanee‘s test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling.

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The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.

It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

Residents in Renfrew County should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau five days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond and at recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.

First Nations:

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn’t showing symptoms at the time.

Residents in eastern Ontario can visit a number of COVID-19 testing centres across the region if they’re concerned they could have the virus. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 80 kilometres away is asked to self-isolate for 14 days. It’s 100 miles or 160 kilometres away on the American side.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.

Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time. It plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.

For more information

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Daughter of man in Burnaby care home with active COVID-19 cases says health protocols not met – News 1130



BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — A woman whose elderly father is living in a B.C. care home with active cases of COVID-19 says the facility isn’t following proper health protocols.

Heather was visiting her father at Burnaby’s George Derby Centre last week and says she’s worried for her father’s health.

“It was like a zoo in there,” she says. “There were so many people, the care patients downstairs just sitting around in wheelchairs all right next to each other.”

Staff also didn’t use a temperature gauge on visitors and didn’t provide anyone with hand sanitizer before they walked into the building, according to Heather.

“My dad just went in there, he was perfectly fine in this other place, it was much better, and when i saw it was not the same at all, not the same quality of care.”

Heather says she didn’t say anything at the moment but when she went home and talked to a friend, it made her realize the number of protocols not followed.


Two cases of COVID-19 reported Friday at the Burnaby healthcare facility include one worker, and one in a resident which are unrelated, according to Fraser Health.

The George Derby Centre is a “campus of care” which includes an independent living facility and a long-term care home.

The staff member works in the independent living facility, Derby Manor.

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Ottawa Public Health asks businesses to encourage mask use by staff in break rooms, kitchens – CTV Edmonton



Ottawa Public Health is urging all businesses to promote wearing face masks by employees in areas not covered by Ottawa’s mandatory face mask bylaw, including break rooms and changing areas.

And businesses are being encouraged to do “active screening” of all employees during the pandemic to help limit the spread of novel coronavirus.

Associate Medical Officer of Health Brent Moloughney says the health unit is still seeing cases of COVID-19 where employees are going to work while symptomatic.

“For this reason, OPH strongly encourages all businesses to do active screening of employees to make sure no one is going to work when they are sick or feeling unwell,” said Dr. Moloughney in a statement released on Friday afternoon.

Ottawa Public Health has a health-screening questionnaire available on its website.

“Reminder, Ottawa Public Health does not recommend asymptomatic employees be tested before starting work since the results reflect just a snapshot in time and can be falsely reassuring,” said Dr. Moloughney.

Council passed a bylaw in July making face masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces. Ottawa’s mandatory face mask bylaw includes an exemption that allows employees working in non-public areas or behind a physical barrier to go maskless while working in public buildings.

Dr. Moloughney says public health encourages businesses to “promote mask use in areas not covered by the bylaw including non-public common areas such as break rooms, kitchens, changing areas, etc. to help further prevent COVID-19 transmission among staff.”

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 2,623 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 264 deaths.

A total of 2,204 people have recovered after testing positive for novel coronavirus.

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