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New case ends Huron-Perth's 20-day streak without a new coronavirus diagnosis – Woodstock Sentinel Review

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Maitland Manor. (File photo)

Almost three weeks with no new COVID-19 cases. Almost.

After not seeing a single new case of the virus in the Huron Perth Public Health area since May 1, health officials are reporting a tick in the positive column, marking the region’s 50th case.

The new case, reported May 20 at Maitland Manor in Goderich, also snaps a six-day streak of having no active reported cases in either Huron or Perth counties. It’s still only the 13th documented case in Huron County.

“I think some of the things that might be protective in Huron-Perth is that we are not an urban centre, we do have lower density than a city might contend with,” said Miriam Klassen, Huron-Perth’s medical officer of health.

While experts and health officials agree population density does play a role in the lower rates in the region, with rural communities generally more spread out, it’s not the sole reason the area has managed to fend off a massive wave of COVID-19 cases.

Klassen said the health unit has been able to conduct thorough contact tracing swiftly, and that pre-existing partnerships formed in the region under a single Ontario Health Team have expedited efficient communication.

She also said there is a strong response from the community in abiding by public health guidelines such as social distancing.

“People did heed the response and the direction from the health unit,” said Huron County warden Jim Ginn. “Because we have an older population, that’s maybe part of the reason why they took it to heart in more of our areas.”

As of Thursday, Huron-Perth Public Health has had 37.2  cases per 100,000 people, far off from the provincial average of 162.7.

By comparison, the Middlesex-London Health Unit sits at 92 cases per 100,000, with Sarnia-Lambton at 178.7, Chatham-Kent at 133.6 and Windsor-Essex at 189.3.

Southwestern Public Health, which covers Central Elgin and Oxford, is sitting at 30.3, making them the 7th lowest of the province’s 36 health units.

These numbers likely will rise in the coming weeks as testing for those with mild symptoms increases, meaning that more less-severe cases of COVID-19 will be detected.

But beyond embracing social distancing and a dispersed population, there’s still one thing that’s likely been on the side of both Huron-Perth Public Health and Southwestern Public Health: luck.

“In terms of which health units had initial feeding of imported cases, it often comes down to a bit of luck,” said Susan Bondy, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

According to Bondy, some regions, for whatever reason, were fortunate in that they didn’t import a significant number of cases after March break travel.

Meanwhile, border cities such as Sarnia and Windsor have been particularly hard-hit with COVID-19 cases.

“There’s no proof that there’s anything special about Huron-Perth that they won’t get a case. It’s all about movement,” Bondy said. “They are a two-hour car ride away from an imported case.”

Public health officials in both the Huron-Perth and Southwestern regions worry the low case counts in their areas could trigger complacency among residents and are urging citizens to stay vigilant even as the province reopens.

“I actually am quite concerned at the moment. I think people still hope and possibly think that this COVID pandemic can be turned off like a light switch,” said Joyce Locke, Southwestern Public Health’s medical officer of health. “That’s far from the truth.”

She said as more businesses open up, individuals should follow the recent recommendation from both the federal and provincial governments to wear a non-medical face mask in indoor settings where physical distancing is challenging.

Fatigue with physical distancing measures, especially as summer rolls around, is a genuine possibility. This time of year tends to bring about more travel, with day-trippers leaving bigger cities for quick getaways to rural areas, parks or beaches.

That, coupled with the relatively low COVID-19 numbers in these rural regions, and folks could get the wrong impression that the risk has disappeared, Locke said.

That’s why she feels a regional approach to further reopening the province isn’t a good idea.

“That would only let us take our guard down more and be more at risk for something happening,” Locke said. “I think to assume that we’re not as bad would only set us up for becoming as bad.”

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Another COVID-19 case reported in northern New Brunswick on Saturday – Deloraine Times

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CAMPBELLTON, N.B. — People from a city in northern New Brunswick lined up outside testing centres Saturday, anxiously waiting to find out if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

Health officials have been focusing on Campbellton, N.B., since earlier in the week when it was learned that a health-care professional who contracted the novel coronavirus outside the province didn’t self-isolate after returning to New Brunswick.

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Public Health officials confirmed another new case in Zone 5, the Campbellton region, Saturday — bringing to nine the number of active cases in the area in just over a week.

The new case, which is under investigation, is an individual in their 70s.

To date, there have been 129 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 120 people have recovered from their illness.

Three people are hospitalized and there are no patients in an intensive care unit.

Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin said people were waiting about 15 minutes in the lineups to be tested, while seniors could call the 811 Tele-Care line to make an appointment to avoid the lines.

She said people are not happy that a health-care professional would put the public at risk.

“People have been pretty hateful and nasty on social media,” she said.

The mayor said she was embarrassed by many of the comments and urged people to help each other and limit their contacts for the next two weeks.

“The man is human and I don’t think it’s my place to judge him. His professional association will judge what they have to judge if there was any wrongdoing done,” she said.

Premier Blaine Higgs has criticized the worker at the centre of the cluster as “irresponsible.” He said this week that information had been passed to the RCMP and suggested the individual could be charged with violating public health orders.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for the New Brunswick RCMP confirmed that the force is looking into the matter.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said people need to show understanding, forgiveness and compassion during this pandemic.

“Please remember that COVID-19 brings out many emotions in us,” said Russell. “It causes many of us to experience feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear and grief. Some may also be angry. It is completely normal to feel these feelings when we face situations that are beyond our control.”

Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of the Vitalite Health Network confirmed the health-care professional thought to be patient zero in the outbreak has been suspended from work indefinitely after coming into contact with more than 100 people at the Campbellton Regional Hospital.

Elective surgeries have been suspended, and ambulances are being diverted to another hospital. Zone 5 has been moved back to the “orange” phase of the province’s reopening plan, with previous restrictions reinstated.

“We can get through this. It all will be fine,” Anglehart-Paulin said.

“We’ve got 14 days they tell us to hold our breath, so we’re going to hold our breath for another 14 days.”

Russell said everyone must be vigilant and self monitor for symptoms, regardless if they have been recently tested for COVID-19.

Before the Campbellton area cases, the province had gone two weeks without new cases and was actively reopening many businesses and services.

The latest cases follow a protest earlier in the month by more than 400 people from Campbellton and the Quebec communities of Pointe-a-la-Croix and Listuguj First Nation, calling for a “bubble” to be created between them.

Anglehart-Paulin said the flood of emails she was getting in support of opening the border suddenly stopped when the latest cases were reported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2020.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

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Another COVID-19 case reported in northern New Brunswick on Saturday – CHAT News Today

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To date, there have been 129 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 120 people have recovered from their illness. 

Three people are hospitalized and there are no patients in an intensive care unit.

Campbellton Mayor Stephanie Anglehart-Paulin said people were waiting about 15 minutes in the lineups to be tested, while seniors could call the 811 Tele-Care line to make an appointment to avoid the lines.

She said people are not happy that a health-care professional would put the public at risk.

“People have been pretty hateful and nasty on social media,” she said.

The mayor said she was embarrassed by many of the comments and urged people to help each other and limit their contacts for the next two weeks.

“The man is human and I don’t think it’s my place to judge him. His professional association will judge what they have to judge if there was any wrongdoing done,” she said.

Premier Blaine Higgs has criticized the worker at the centre of the cluster as “irresponsible.” He said this week that information had been passed to the RCMP and suggested the individual could be charged with violating public health orders.

On Friday, a spokeswoman for the New Brunswick RCMP confirmed that the force is looking into the matter.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said people need to show understanding, forgiveness and compassion during this pandemic.

“Please remember that COVID-19 brings out many emotions in us,” said Russell. “It causes many of us to experience feelings of confusion, anxiety, fear and grief. Some may also be angry. It is completely normal to feel these feelings when we face situations that are beyond our control.”

Gilles Lanteigne, president and CEO of the Vitalite Health Network confirmed the health-care professional thought to be patient zero in the outbreak has been suspended from work indefinitely after coming into contact with more than 100 people at the Campbellton Regional Hospital.

Elective surgeries have been suspended, and ambulances are being diverted to another hospital. Zone 5 has been moved back to the “orange” phase of the province’s reopening plan, with previous restrictions reinstated.

“We can get through this. It all will be fine,” Anglehart-Paulin said.

“We’ve got 14 days they tell us to hold our breath, so we’re going to hold our breath for another 14 days.”

Russell said everyone must be vigilant and self monitor for symptoms, regardless if they have been recently tested for COVID-19.

Before the Campbellton area cases, the province had gone two weeks without new cases and was actively reopening many businesses and services.

The latest cases follow a protest earlier in the month by more than 400 people from Campbellton and the Quebec communities of Pointe-a-la-Croix and Listuguj First Nation, calling for a “bubble” to be created between them.

Anglehart-Paulin said the flood of emails she was getting in support of opening the border suddenly stopped when the latest cases were reported.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 30, 2020.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

The Canadian Press

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344 new coronavirus cases, 41 deaths in Ontario as total cases rise to 27210

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Ontario reported 344 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 27,210.

The death toll has risen to 2,230, as 41 more deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, 20,983 people have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 77 per cent of cases.

Ontario has completed 680,687 tests so far for the virus. This is up 18,525 tests from the previous day, which is the highest number of tests completed in a 24-hour period in almost three weeks.

The province has previously said it has a testing capacity of over 20,000 daily tests. Ontario is set to reveal a new coronavirus testing strategy Friday to gauge phased reopening.

Friday’s report marks an increase of 1.3 per cent in total cumulative cases. That figure has mostly hovered between 1.1 and 1.8 over the past week.

Ontario has 826 patients (down by seven) hospitalized due to COVID-19, with 129 patients in an intensive care unit (down by eight) and 100 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by six).

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 1,625 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of 34 deaths, and there are 123 current outbreaks. Six health-care workers in long-term care homes have died.

Ontario officials have said there may be a discrepancy between overall deaths and deaths at long-term care homes due to how the province’s health database system, called iPHIS, is tracking data and how the Ministry of Long-Term Care is tracking data.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 1,476 confirmed cases among long-term care residents and 1,113 cases among staff.

Health-care workers in Ontario account for 4,634 of the total reported cases, which is 17 per cent of the infected population.

Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 65 per cent of all cases in the province.

Here is a breakdown of Ontario cases by gender and age:

  • 11,818 people are male (43.4 per cent).
  • 15,162 people are female (55.7 per cent).
  • 948 people are 19 and under (3.5 per cent).
  • 6,992 people are 20 to 39 (25.7 per cent).
  • 8,310 people are 40 to 59 (30.5 per cent).
  • 5,551 people are 60 to 79 (20.4 per cent).
  • 5,394 people are 80 and over (19.8 per cent).
  • 230 cases did not specify male or female and 15 cases had an unknown age.

There are 13,351 people currently under investigation awaiting test results.

The newly reported numbers are valid as of 2 p.m. Thursday for Toronto and Ottawa public health units, and 4 p.m. for the rest of the province.

Source: – cjoy.com

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Edited By Harry Miller

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