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N.W.T. ends state of emergency for 1st time during COVID-19 pandemic

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The Northwest Territories government has decided it will no longer extend its state of emergency for the first time since COVID-19 emergency measures were enacted in the territory.

The territory has been under a state of emergency — one of its two emergency public health measures — due to the pandemic since March. The state of emergency gave the government extraordinary powers, including the power to enter premises without a warrant; procure food, fuel, and medical supplies; and fix prices on essential goods.

“The public was wonderful, the stores, the supply chains … they were all wonderful and we never had to enact it or utilize it,” Premier Caroline Cochrane said Tuesday.

“So if we’re not utilizing it, it makes sense now that we’re in phase two that we don’t carry that forward any longer.”

The government added that it will continue to review the situation, and if needed — like if there’s a second wave of COVID-19 and evidence of community spread — it’s prepared to bring back the state of emergency, but would be cautious about doing so.

The territory has been free of known COVID-19 cases for roughly three months but Cochrane said it took this long to lift the state of emergency because “often best decisions aren’t made quickly.”

“I know that the public is saying ‘we have no cases, we haven’t had any cases’, but watch the news,” she said, noting a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in some U.S. states.

“We have to be very careful. It’s still going on huge in the southern jurisdictions and we don’t have the healthcare capacity to deal with a huge outbreak.”

Cochrane acknowledged concerns from people who may feel their civil liberties are being limited by the state of emergency. That’s why with the last order, she says, the government allowed people to come to the territory if they were working, looking for work, reuniting with family or obtained a special government exemption.

Public health emergency extended

Meanwhile, Health Minister Diane Thom has extended the territory’s public health emergency on the recommendation of the chief public health officer, according to a news release.

The public health emergency gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders.

The release states that to this point, the territory has been “successful at managing the risk of COVID-19 using the tools available under the Public Health Act,” and so it has not had to draw on resources under the Emergency Management Act that a state of emergency would allow for.

Back in June, the territorial government extended both of its territory-wide emergency declarations for the seventh time. Both were set to expire on Wednesday.

Government spokesperson Mike Westwick said the public health emergency will expire on July 21.

The news release also reminded residents that everyone entering the N.W.T. is still required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith, “with few exceptions.”

“The [N.W.T. government] will continue to review its actions and arrangements for responding to the pandemic to ensure they remain effective and are aligned with the current circumstances,” the release states.

Soucre:N.W.T. ends state of emergency

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COVID-19 update for Aug. 13: Here's the latest on coronavirus in B.C. – Vancouver Sun

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Article content continued

The government says it is taking the $31 million from $170 million left in the Smart Cities Challenge program.

The Canadian Press

7 a.m. – Poll finds more than a third of B.C. residents want tighter pandemic restrictions following surge in cases

As B.C. deals with a surge in coronavirus cases, a new poll finds residents are more likely than their provincial counterparts to say they want to see tighter restrictions.

The Angus Reid Institute poll, published Thursday, found Canadians in the four Atlantic provinces were the most satisfied with their region’s pandemic restrictions, while those in B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba were more likely to say they want tighter restrictions in order to keep COVID-19 spread down.

While nearly half of British Columbians (48 per cent) say the restrictions in B.C. are “about right,” 14 per cent say “they go too far” and 38 per cent say they “don’t go far enough.”

That compares to just 28 per cent overall of Canadians who think there should be tighter restrictions. In Manitoba, that number climbs to 40 per cent, while in Atlantic Canada it’s just 19 per cent.

12 a.m. – Health officials announce 85 new cases, one new death

Provincial health officials announced 85 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the third-highest one-day total since the coronavirus came to British Columbia.

Wednesday’s updated numbers from Dix and Henry include one new death — the province’s first in 12 days. 196 people have died from the coronavirus in British Columbia.



LOCAL RESOURCES

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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Albertans growing less satisfied with provincial COVID-19 response, new survey says; 76 new cases – Calgary Herald

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There are some signs the worrying trend could be abating, including Alberta’s announcement Thursday that there were 76 new cases of the coronavirus in the province, down from 121 Wednesday.

The new cases were the result of about 7,750 tests, equivalent to a one per cent positive rate. They bring Alberta’s running total since the start of the pandemic to 11,969, including 10,713 people who have now officially recovered from the virus.

Active cases in Alberta dipped slightly Thursday to 1,036, with more cases in the Alberta Health Services Edmonton zone (475) than any other provincial health region. The Calgary zone has 314 active cases.

A total of 220 Albertans have now died of COVID-19 after the province reported three new deaths Thursday. One death was of a woman in her 80s at Edmonton’s Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre, bringing that facility’s toll from the virus to 29, the most of anywhere in Alberta.

The other two deaths were of a man in his 90s at the Heimstaed Seniors Lodge in La Crete, about 670 kilometres north of Edmonton, and another man in his 90s who lived in the Central zone and was not connected to any continuing-care site.

Alberta’s hospitalizations stayed steady Thursday, with 50 Albertans in hospital with COVID-19, 12 of whom are receiving treatment in intensive-care units.

Aside from the unsteady case numbers, Angus Reid also indicated that the province’s plan for a return to school for K-12 students in September may be partly responsible for the dipping approval rate. Parents and teachers have heavily criticized the plan from Alberta Education, saying measures are insufficient to protect students and teachers given large class sizes and stagnant funding.

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76 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, 3 additional deaths – Global News

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Alberta Health said Thursday that an additional 76 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the province, as well as three additional deaths.

A woman in her 80s from the Good Samaritan Southgate Care Centre has died, marking the 29th death at that location.

Read more:
Hinshaw urges Alberta teachers to get tested for COVID-19 ahead of school reopenings

A man in his 90s from Heimstaed Seniors Lodge in the North zone and a man in his 90s from Central zone also died. The man from the Central zone was not linked to a continuing care centre, Alberta Health said.

Alberta has now had 220 deaths related to COVID-19.






5:34
COVID-19: Hinshaw provides update on testing in Alberta, urges teachers and staff to get tested before September


COVID-19: Hinshaw provides update on testing in Alberta, urges teachers and staff to get tested before September

The Edmonton zone continues to have more cases than any other zone in the province as the number of active cases in that city climbed slightly to 475 on Thursday.

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There were 314 active cases reported in the Calgary zone, 88 cases in the Central zone, the South zone had 52 cases and there were 104 cases reported in the North zone.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Feds offer cities $31M to adapt to pandemic realities

Three active cases weren’t assigned to a particular zone.

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There were 50 Albertans in hospital, with many of those (21) in the Edmonton zone. Of those in hospital, 12 were in intensive care.






1:22
COVID-19: Dr. Deena Hinshaw explains how to clean and store cloth masks


COVID-19: Dr. Deena Hinshaw explains how to clean and store cloth masks

To date, the province has performed 793,114 coronavirus tests and 10,713 Albertans have recovered from the virus.

The numbers reflect results reported by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

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

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