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More than 1,850 Calgary students and staff self-isolate due to COVID-19 – CBC.ca

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Hundreds of students and staff at Calgary schools are currently self-isolating due to potential exposure to COVID-19. 

Schools reopened in-person classes just a few weeks ago. As of Monday, there were 126 confirmed cases at 81 schools across Alberta.

Of those schools with positive cases, 19 are classified as outbreaks, which means there have been two or more positive cases at the school.

Once a case is confirmed, the current protocol is to have an entire classroom self-isolate for the mandated 14 days. 

I recognize that having an entire class isolated has a significant impact on parents and families, and I understand that there’s frustration on the lack of ability to plan.– Dr. Deena Hinshaw

Alberta Health is not currently tracking the total number of students and staff affected, but Calgary’s two school districts were able to share how many in each community have been ordered to quarantine.

As of Monday afternoon, 1,400 students and more than 90 staff with the Calgary Board of Education were self-isolating. 

The Calgary Catholic School District could only provide numbers accurate to Thursday, when 356 students and 22 staff were self-isolating. 

Those numbers do not include students home with symptoms like a cough, or runny nose.

Across Alberta, about 742,000 students are enrolled at more than 2,400 schools. In Edmonton, at least 1,000 students and staff were in isolation as of Friday.

Thousands of parents across the province are also faced with potentially needing to stay home from work, find child care or educate children at home with little warning, after a positive case in the classroom. 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said on Monday that she has heard concerns from parents about the impact of their children suddenly needing to isolate for two weeks. 

“I recognize that having an entire class isolated has a significant impact on parents and families, and I understand that there’s frustration on the lack of ability to plan,” she said.

“Right now we are taking a very cautious approach, so when there is a single infectious case in a classroom, that entire class is asked to stay home for that 14-day period, and we are watching very closely our experiences with those class cohorts to understand how we can be more targeted so we don’t have to have the whole class stay home in future.”

Even if students test negative for COVID-19 after a classmate tests positive, they can’t return to class until the 14-day period is over as it could take time for the illness to manifest.

What’s really critical for schools is that schools don’t become a place where transmission happens.– Dr. Deena Hinshaw

Hinshaw said there are important health benefits to children from being in school, and said the numbers of school-aged students who have tested positive overall is more of an indicator of community case counts than in-school transmission.

To date, three schools have recorded cases of in-school transmission of the coronavirus.

Hinshaw said the number of weekly cases in school-aged children hit its peak when the province hit its highest case-count in mid-April, when 216 children aged five to 19 had COVID-19. At that point schools had already been closed for weeks. 

Since schools reopened, numbers in that age group increased to 183 in the week of Sept. 9 to 15, and decreased this past week to 122.

“What’s really critical for schools is that schools don’t become a place where transmission happens,” she said. 

She also said the province is working to increase testing speeds for students who are self-isolating due to displaying symptoms of COVID-19, so they can quickly get back to class.

“We recognize that getting test results as quickly as possible, and getting tested as quickly as possible, both of those are really important.”

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: BC shatters records with 274 new COVID-19 cases, social gatherings blamed – lintelligencer

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: More than a quarter of inmates at Calgary jail infected

For the second day in a row, British Columbia has announced a record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases.

At a Thursday briefing, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reported 274 new cases — shattering the previous record, announced Wednesday, of 203.

B.C. is now facing 1,920 active cases, nearing the previous record of 1,987 set in September. In addition, 4,425 people were in isolation due to possible exposure.

The province’s death toll was unchanged at 256.

Despite surging cases, the situation in B.C. hospitals has remained relatively stable since early October.

Seventy-one people were in hospital, 24 of them in critical or intensive care.

About 82 per cent of B.C.s 12,331 cases have recovered.

Much of the surge in new cases has been driven by social gatherings, such as weddings and funerals, which Henry described as “high risk.”

A small percentage of the new cases were also linked to “large” Thanksgiving gatherings.

Many of the events have been concentrated in the Lower Mainland, but their effects have since spread province-wide as attendees returned to homes outside the region, Henry said.

They have also spread into the healthcare system and workplaces people who were exposed returned to work, she added.

“People are not sticking with their COVID-19 safety plans for social gatherings, particularly ones like weddings and funerals,” Henry said.

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

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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.

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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Northern Manitoba braces for increased COVID-19 restrictions while cases rise – Global News

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While Manitoba’s north is set to come under increased restrictions meant to combat rising COVID-19 case numbers Monday, the mayor of The Pas says heightened rules are necessary to quell the virus’s spread.

“We need to get a handle on this virus in our community and if the restrictions will allow us to do that, then it needs to be done,” said Herb Jaques, the mayor of the northern town of 12,000.

Read more:
Manitoba reports 4 new coronavirus deaths, 147 cases, Winnipeg schools moving to restricted level

Generally, gatherings will be capped at five people under the province’s orange level in its pandemic rating system — gatherings of more than five can take place if the number of people doesn’t exceed 30 per cent of a given location’s capacity, the location is physically divided into separate areas where five people are allowed at a time and people aren’t allowed to come into close contact.

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Masks will be mandatory in all public, indoor spaces. Restaurants, retail stores and other businesses will be allowed to open at 50 per cent capacity, while casinos and bingo halls will have to close.

Chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin made the announcement Thursday.

“We know that the north is already at risk for transmission of this virus, especially in remote, isolated communities (where there is lack of) access to health care,” Roussin said at the time.


Click to play video 'Manitoba tightens restrictions on schools in Winnipeg Metro, northern regions, in response to rising COVID-19 numbers'



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Manitoba tightens restrictions on schools in Winnipeg Metro, northern regions, in response to rising COVID-19 numbers


Manitoba tightens restrictions on schools in Winnipeg Metro, northern regions, in response to rising COVID-19 numbers

Jaques said people in The Pas have already begun to wear masks in the town’s shopping district.

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“It’s very common now to see people wearing masks in town; all the local businesses have taken measures to ensure there is social distancing,” Jaques said. “It’s just a regular occurrence now in their businesses.

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“Handwashing stations are everywhere; we’re doing whatever we can for the recommendations of (chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin) to be compliant and try to get ahead of this.”

The sprawling Northern Health Region, which encompasses 396,000 square kilometres of the province, avoided significant numbers of COVID-19 cases early in the pandemic. On Saturday, however, the region saw 15 new cases, while 58 cases are active.

“I think a solemnness is setting in in my community,” Jaques said. “As you know, we were almost exempt from participating in (the pandemic), we had no cases and we went with no cases for quite a while. Now it’s here and it appears to be here with a vengeance.”

The neighbouring communities of The Pas, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and the rural municipality of Kelsey currently have 15 active novel coronavirus cases combined.

Jaques said he is concerned about the area health-care system’s capacity — The Pas Health Complex has 48 beds total, according to the health authority.

Four of those are functioning intensive care beds, Jaques said.

“If this starts to get out of hand, we’re going to fill up those spaces fairly quickly and that’s a concern,” he said.

“Now is not the time to point fingers or lay criticism, but when this is over, there really needs to be some serious discussions about health care in the north and in Manitoba.”

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Click to play video 'Grand Chief Arlen Dumas on travel to northern Manitoba'



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Grand Chief Arlen Dumas on travel to northern Manitoba


Grand Chief Arlen Dumas on travel to northern Manitoba

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

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