Connect with us

Health

New assessment centres to open, but testing will focus on health workers and high-risk people

Published

on


Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Health.


Errol McGihon / Postmedia

A second and possibly third COVID-19 assessment centre will be ready to go in Ottawa within a week, Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches said Thursday.

Ottawa opened its first novel coronavirus assessment centre at Brewer arena one week ago. It has been seeing more than 400 people a day.

News of new assessment centres came as Ottawa’s confirmed and probable case count reached 19. But Etches said the real number could be closer to 2,000 cases.

“We already can be very certain that there is community transmission because we wouldn’t have caught every case. I feel comfortable saying we need to act as if the virus is here because we don’t have a perfect system that would capture every single case.”

 

COVID-19 cases in Ottawa

 

One of those probable cases — an Ottawa resident about which no information has been released — is now hospitalized with COVID-19, said Etches. One previous Ottawa patient was also treated in hospital for COVID-19, but has since been discharged, she said. The remainder of confirmed or probable cases are recovering at home.

During a media availability, Etches again urged Ottawa residents to socially isolate themselves to slow spread of the illness and protect the health system that is likely to be overwhelmed by a rapid spike in severely ill patients.

 

COVID-19 in Ontario

“Social distancing is really important now.”

She also repeated a message she has been saying this week — that the city will soon begin limiting testing for the coronavirus, with a focus on health and frontline workers and the most sick and vulnerable. That includes people in long-term care residences and nursing homes, as well as inmates. That decision is, in part, due to a shortage of the swabs used in testing.

Etches said the new assessment centres are likely to focus on clinically assessing people for the novel coronavirus and determining whether they need to go to the hospital or if they should be isolated at home.

The city will also benefit from an additional lab for testing, which has been backlogged in Ottawa and around the province.

Etches said she appreciates that many people will be anxious if they can’t be tested to confirm whether or not they have COVID-19.

“Everyone would like to know if they are sick and whether this is COVID-19. I appreciate that. We just can’t test everyone who has respiratory symptoms and it would not change our approach.”

The best way to help the health system maintain the capacity it needs is to self isolate, she said.

Source link

Continue Reading

Health

OPH investigating 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, bringing total to 122 – OttawaMatters.com

Published

on


Ottawa Public Health says it is investigation 122 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city — that’s 16 new cases in total.  

The city health authority is also investigating two institutional outbreaks of the virus, one of which at Maplewood Retirement Community, OPH confirmed in a Sunday statement.

This is following the health authority’s announcement of 31 confirmed cases on Saturday.

According to Dr. Vera Etches, the retirement home has implemented outbreak management and OPH is connecting with close contacts.

“All residents have been notified and are in self-isolation,” Etches said in a statement. “Staff at the retirement home continue to be screened and have been instructed to wear personal protective equipment in the building, specifically wearing a mask when entering the building and following droplet/contact procedures in all resident rooms.”

Further details of individuals who have tested positive were not provided. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and every citizen must continue doing their part to keep themselves, their family members, their neighbours, co-workers and community members healthy and safe, and reduce the spread of the virus,” Etches added.

Etches urges everyone to continue to practicing physical distancing and to self-isolate if symptoms develop for 14 days or travel was involved. Those with the virus are also to continue their isolation 24 hours after symptoms have fully resolved. 

People are also encouraged to avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential. 

For more tips on how to stay safe, visit the OPH website. 

The total number of positive cases in Ontario is now at 1,355. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand – Red Deer Advocate

Published

on


OTTAWA — Canadians have been coming forward in large numbers to donate blood after Canadian Blood Services warned of a possible shortage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood donor clinics have extended their hours and put in place strict safety protocols for anyone giving blood.

“The response has been tremendous,” Dr. Isra Levy, the agency’s vice-president of medical affairs and innovation, said Friday.

“From our point of view, the numbers are very, very satisfying in the sense that we’re able to match demand with supply. We really need to keep up that altruism that has motivated donors to come in.”

Canadian Blood Services operates a national blood inventory that allows products to be regularly shifted around the country to meet hospital and patient needs.

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis.

Levy warned nearly two weeks ago that Canada was facing a critical blood shortage. Donations had dropped about 20 per cent because of concerns about the novel coronavirus.

Because of a suspension of elective surgeries, the demand for blood is also down about 15 per cent, Levy said Friday.

While things are going well now, he added, the concern is whether Canadians will continue to keep donating over the long run.

“We’re going to have this challenge for many weeks to come and the implication is we’re going to need our donors to really continue to show up,” Levy said.

“They need to think about things not about as an urgent and immediate need for blood, but as an ongoing, pressing concern that we have about a potential for a sudden drop in inventory.”

Calgary’s blood donor clinic had to reduce appointments last week because of long lineups and wait times.

Donors waited behind a red line outside the clinic while checking in. Inside, chairs were placed strategically in the waiting room and every other bed was used. Health workers wiped down every donor station thoroughly between patients.

Some donors recently took to social media to discuss the importance of giving.

“First real trip out of the house in a while to Canadian Blood Services. As a former recipient, I understand first hand the importance of donors,” wrote Katie Mitchell on Instagram.

“They have put great steps in place to have donors maintain social distancing requirements. So happy I wasn’t rejected.”

“My dad needs transfusions every three weeks so in addition to worrying about COVID-19, he’s concerned about blood supply shortages,” wrote Sara Jane O’Neill on Twitter.

“Please donate if you can.”

Levy said some donors in Ottawa have told him that they feel they’re able to make a difference when everything else in the world is out of their control.

“It’s a sense of contribution in an uncertain time,” he said.

“The people who are showing up at our donor collection centres, anecdotally, express a sense of satisfaction that they’re able to do something for the community beyond staying at home and finding ways to fill their time.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2020

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

The Canadian Press

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won’t find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Health

8 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, bringing total to 72 – CBC.ca

Published

on


There are eight new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, bringing the province’s total to 72.

Health officials made the announcement at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building Sunday morning.

Officials are looking into the new cases to determine where those people got the coronavirus and whether they could have passed it to anyone else.

One of the patients is in an intensive care unit, and another has been admitted to hospital, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.

He said two Manitobans have recovered from the virus so far.

The total number of deaths from the virus reported in Manitoba remains at one: a Winnipeg woman in her 60s, who died Friday after she was admitted to an intensive care unit in critical condition the previous week.

More than 7,000 tests for COVID-19 have been done in the province so far.

Roussin reiterated that the measures the province has taken under the Public Health Act will come into effect on Monday, including limiting public gatherings to 10 people and requiring retail businesses like grocery stores to make sure people are one to two metres apart.

These new measures bolster what was previously only a recommendation.

On Saturday, Manitoba saw its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases since the virus was first detected here, as health officials announced 25 new patients had been identified.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending