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N.S. reports two new cases of COVID in Central zone; 23 active cases – CTV News Atlantic

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HALIFAX —
Nova Scotia health officials reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the active number of cases in the province to 23.

According to public health, both of Monday’s new cases are connected to previously reported cases and are under investigation

Monday’s new cases comes after eight new cases were identified over the weekend.

Two new cases were identified on Sunday, both in the Central Zone, and are linked to previously reported cases, including cases linked to the Clayton Park cluster.

On Saturday, the province reported six new cases of COVID-19 also all in the Central Zone, the largest one-day increase in cases the province has seen since May.

According to health officials, all six cases are contacts of previously reported cases.

One of the new cases is related to the Bitter End in Halifax, a restaurant that appears to be linked to the Clayton Park cluster reported earlier this week.

The province said the other cases are part of an emerging cluster that is being investigated by public health.

“As we’ve seen in other provinces, COVID-19 cases can increase in no time,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia.

“We must not let our guard down in Nova Scotia. Please continue to adhere to protocols and limit the number of your close social contacts and social activities.”

CASE DATA

The Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 844 Nova Scotia tests on Sunday.

To date, Nova Scotia has had 122,682 negative test results and 1,146 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of those, 1,058 cases are now considered resolved and 65 people have died as a result of the novel coronavirus.

There is no one in hospital due to COVID-19.

The province’s confirmed cases range in age from under 10 to over 90.

Sixty per cent of cases are female and 40 per cent are male.

There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the Central Zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.

The numbers reflect where a person lives and not where their sample was collected.

  • Western Zone: 58 cases
  • Central Zone: 956 cases
  • Northern Zone: 77 cases
  • Eastern Zone: 55 cases

POTENTIAL COVID-19 EXPOSURES

Nova Scotia also reported 10 possible COVID-19 exposures throughout HRM over the weekend.

Health officials are asking anyone who visited The Local Bar and Restaurant on Nov. 9 between 4 p.m. and close to contact 811 and arrange for a COVID-19 test, whether you have symptoms of the virus or not.

The updated information came in a news release from public health Saturday evening.

“Our investigation continues into several cases within the Central Zone, primarily in the Halifax area currently. At times, we gather information throughout our investigation that means we have to issue new information and advice,” said Dr. Claudia Sarbu, the province’s regional medical officer of health, in a news release Saturday evening. 

“These steps are taken to help us contain and manage the spread of COVID-19 and protest the health of Nova Scotians.”

Originally, officials said on Friday anyone who was at the restaurant should self-monitor for symptoms up to, and including, Nov. 23.

The Local Bar and Restaurant is located in downtown Halifax at 2037 Gottingen Street.

Nine other potential COVID-19 exposures were also identified over Friday and Saturday during the following dates and times:

  • The Economy Shoe Shop Bar and Restaurant on Nov. 8, between 8:30 and 11 p.m.
  • John W. Lindsay YMCA on Sackville Street on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., but only in the gym section of that facility.
  • Tim Hortons on Verdi Drive, (Bedford Commons) on Nov. 12 from 6:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • Real Fake Meats in Halifax located at 2278 Gottingen St. on Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Antojo Tacos and Tequila in Halifax located at 1667 Argyle St. on Oct. 31 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • MEC in Halifax located at 1550 Granville St. on Nov. 4 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Aerobics First in Halifax located at 6166 Quinpool Rd. on Nov. 7 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Pet Valu in Halifax located at 5686 Spring Garden Rd. on Nov. 9 from 5:30 pm to 6:30pm.
  • East Preston Recreation Centre – Gym/Basketball Court in East Preston, N.S., located at 24 Brooks Drive, on Nov. 9 from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Nova Scotia health says anyone that was at any of these nine locations on the dates and times listed above should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, following the day of exposure.

Should any COVID-19 symptoms develop, they are directed to self-isolate and take the online self-assessment or call 811 to get tested.

 

ONLINE BOOKING FOR COVID TESTS

Nova Scotia’s online booking for COVID-19 tests is now available for everyone across the province.

Nova Scotians must first complete the online self-assessment to determine if they need a COVID-19 test. If they do require a test, they will be directed to the online booking site to make an appointment.

Tests should be scheduled within 48 hours of completing the self-assessment.

COVID ALERT APP

Earlier in October, Nova Scotia Health announced that Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is now available in the province.

The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

STATE OF EMERGENCY RENEWED

The provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to Nov. 29, unless the government terminates or extends it before then.

LIST OF SYMPTOMS

Anyone who experiences a fever or new or worsening cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms, is encouraged to take an online test or call 811 to determine if they need to be tested for COVID-19:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose/nasal congestion

SELF-ISOLATION AND MANDATORY MASKS

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region for non-essential reasons is required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province. Travellers must self-isolate alone, away from others. If they cannot self-isolate alone, their entire household must also self-isolate for 14 days.

Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.

Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again. 

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Moderna says will request US, Europe vaccine authorisation Monday – Aljazeera.com

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Authorisation requests in the US and Europe to come after results confirm a high efficacy estimated at 94.1 percent.

US firm Moderna said it would ask US and European regulators on Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection — ramping up the race to begin limited vaccinations as the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

“Moderna plans today to request EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) from the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration),” Moderna said in a statement, adding it would also “apply for a conditional marketing authorization with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).”

Multiple vaccine candidates must succeed for the world to stamp out the pandemic, which has been on the upswing in the US and Europe.

US hospitals have been stretched to the limit as the nation has seen more than 160,000 new cases per day and more than 1,400 daily deaths.

Since first emerging nearly a year ago in China, the virus has killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide.

Moderna is just behind Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech in seeking to begin vaccinations in the US in December.

Across the Atlantic, British regulators also are assessing the Pfizer shot and another from AstraZeneca.

Moderna created its shots with the US National Institutes of Health and already had a hint they were working, but said it got the final needed results over the weekend that suggest the vaccine is more than 94 percent effective.

Of 196 COVID-19 cases so far in its huge US study, 185 were trial participants who received the placebo and 11 who got the real vaccine.

The only people who got severely ill — 30 participants, including one who died — had received dummy shots, said Dr. Tal Zaks, the Cambridge, Massachusetts, company’s chief medical officer.

When he learned the results, “I allowed myself to cry for the first time,” Zaks told The Associated Press.

“We have already, just in the trial, have already saved lives. Just imagine the impact then multiplied to the people who can get this vaccine.”

Moderna said the shots’ effectiveness and a good safety record so far — with only temporary, flu-like side effects — mean they meet requirements set by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use before the final-stage testing is complete.

The European Medicines Agency, Europe’s version of FDA, has signaled it also is open to faster, emergency clearance.

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Britain secures additional 2 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine; appoints vaccines minister – The Globe and Mail

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Protesters march through central London as they take part in an anti-lockdown protest against government restrictions designed to control or mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and lockdowns, in London on November 28, 2020.

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Britain has secured an additional two million doses of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the government said in a statement on Sunday.

Following the latest deal, Britain has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people. Overall, it has access to 357 million doses of vaccines from 7 different developers, according to the statement.

“With a wide range of vaccine candidates in our portfolio, we stand ready to deploy a vaccine should they receive approval from our medicines regulator, starting with those who will benefit most,” Britain’s health minister, Matt Hancock, said in the statement.

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On Saturday, the British government appointed a vaccines minister as it prepares to inoculate millions of people against the coronavirus, potentially starting within days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Conservative lawmaker Nadhim Zahawi will oversee the country’s biggest vaccine program in decades.

The U.K. medicines regulator is currently assessing two vaccines — one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, the other by Oxford University and AstraZeneca — to see if they are safe and effective. The Guardian newspaper reported that hospitals have been told they could receive the first doses of the Pfizer shot the week of Dec. 7, if it receives approval.

The U.K. says frontline health care workers and nursing home residents will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by older people, starting with those over age 80.

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, enough for 20 million people, and 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

In all, the U.K. government has agreed to purchase up to 355 million doses of vaccine from seven different producers, as it prepares to vaccinate as many of the country’s 67 million people as possible.

Decisions about which, if any, vaccines to authorize will be made by the independent Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

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Pfizer and BioNTech say their vaccine is 95% effective, according to preliminary data. It must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures of around minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 Fahrenheit).

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored at conventional refrigerator temperatures, and is also cheaper than its main rivals. But some scientists have questioned gaps in its reported results.

Oxford and AstraZeneca reported this week that their vaccine appeared to be 62% effective in people who received two doses, and 90% effective when volunteers were given a half dose followed by a full dose. They said the half dose was administered because of a manufacturing error, and they plan a new clinical trial to investigate the most effective dosing regimen.

The British government hopes a combination of vaccines and mass testing will end the need for restrictions on business and everyday life it imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Britain has had Europe’s deadliest COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 57,000 confirmed virus-related deaths.

The prime minister said this week that officials hope to inoculate “the vast majority of the people who need the most protection by Easter.” But he warned that “we must first navigate a hard winter” of restrictions.

A four-week national lockdown in England is due to end Wednesday, and will be replaced by three-tiered system of regional measures that restrict business activity, travel and socializing. The vast majority of the country is being put into the upper two tiers.

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The restrictions have sparked protests, with police arresting scores of people at an anti-lockdown demonstration in London on Saturday.

Several bottles and smoke bombs were thrown as anti-mask and anti-vaccine demonstrators scuffled with officers in the city’s West End shopping district. The Metropolitan Police force said 155 people were arrested.

Johnson also faces opposition to the measures from dozens of his own Conservative Party’s lawmakers, who say the economic damage outweighs the public health benefits.

Bur Cabinet minister Michael Gove said the restrictions were “grimly” necessary to avoid the health system being overwhelmed this winter.

Writing in The Times of London, Gove said there are currently 16,000 coronavirus patients in British hospitals, not far below the April peak of 20,000. A rise in infections would mean coronavirus patients would “displace all but emergency cases. And then even those.,” he said.

“If, however, we can keep the level of infection stable or, even better, falling, and hold out through January and February, then we can be confident that vaccination will pull the plug on the problem,” Gove wrote.

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NIH Director: Politics Have 'Nothing To Do' with COVID-19 Vaccine Approval | MSNBC – MSNBC

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  1. NIH Director: Politics Have ‘Nothing To Do’ with COVID-19 Vaccine Approval | MSNBC  MSNBC
  2. Canada ‘not at the back of the line’ for COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna chairman says  CBC.ca
  3. Coronavirus: Support for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination is falling in Canada says Ipsos poll  Global News
  4. UK could launch coronavirus vaccination effort as soon as Dec. 7  CP24 Toronto’s Breaking News
  5. Be patient and stay safe. Coronavirus vaccines are on the way.  The Dallas Morning News
  6. View Full coverage on Google News



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