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New coronavirus outbreak at senior home in London-Middlesex, 1 more death, 5 new cases – Globalnews.ca

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Another death related to the novel coronavirus has been confirmed in London-Middlesex on Sunday, along with another outbreak at a seniors’ home.

Five new cases and four recoveries were also reported Sunday.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the area to 536, with 380 recoveries — around 71 per cent, and 53 deaths.

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The Middlesex-London Health Unit says the deceased is a woman in her 70s, and her death is associated with a long-term care home.

All the new cases are from London Ont., according to the MLHU.

Out of the total number of cases, 168 are linked to seniors’ homes, which includes both long-term care and retirement residences.

There have been 101 cases at long-term care homes specifically, where 60 residents and 41 staff have tested positive. There have been 23 deaths.


Statistics on London’s two COVID-19 assessment centres as of May 31.


MLHU


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There have been 67 cases of COVID-19 at retirement homes, where 44 residents and 23 staff were infected and 10 people passed away.

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The most recent outbreak was declared Saturday, May 30 at Chelsey Park Retirement Community. It’s unclear how many residents and/or staff have tested positive.

There are seven other active outbreaks in the region, all at seniors’ homes. This includes the third floor of Chelsey Park, Country Terrace, the Medway area of Henley Place LTC Residence, Kensington Village, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care, Sisters of St. Joseph and Waverley Mansion.






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The London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) says 15 patients were being treated in hospital for COVID-19 as of Friday, which is their latest update.

At least 42 staff members have also tested positive. It’s not clear how many cases remain active.

Of the region’s cases, 499 have been reported in London.

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Elsewhere, 20 cases have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc, along with seven in Middlesex Centre, four each in North Middlesex and Thames Centre and one each in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

Ontario

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Provincially, Ontario reported 326 new cases of novel coronavirus Sunday morning, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 27,859.

Nineteen new deaths were also announced, bringing the total fatalities attributed to the virus in the province to 2,266.

More than 21,800 cases are considered resolved, which makes up 78.3 per cent of all confirmed cases.

Nationally, Canada is seeing 90,505 cases of COVID-19, which includes 7,093 deaths and 48,573 recoveries.

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Elgin and Oxford

The region is seeing a new case of COVID-19 after three days of no new cases, deaths or recoveries.

Officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Sunday the total number of cases in the region now stands at 74, with 60 recoveries and four deaths — a tally that has remained unchanged since April 22.


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Of the region’s cases, eight are linked to an active outbreak at Secord Trails, a long-term care facility in Ingersoll, Ont.

Eight staff members have tested positive at the home since the outbreak was declared on May 18. Health officials reported zero cases among residents at the facility.

It’s one of three outbreaks that have been declared in the region since late March. The other two have since been resolved. No deaths have been reported as a result of the outbreaks.

A chart from SWPH showing the per cent positivity rate of coronavirus tests in the region, April 3 to May 31, 2020.

A chart from SWPH showing the per cent positivity rate of coronavirus tests in the region, April 3 to May 31, 2020.


SWPH

Ten cases remain active in the region, with eight cases in Oxford County, including four in Ingersoll, and two each in Tillsonburg and Woodstock.

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In Elgin County, one active case has been reported in St. Thomas.

It’s unclear where the location of the newest case reported on Sunday is.

The health unit said 4,852 tests had been administered in Elgin and Oxford as of Sunday, with 504 awaiting results.






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Huron and Perth

Local health officials say the numbers related to COVID-19 did not change Sunday.

There are 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19, which includes 45 recoveries and five deaths.

Health unit figures show the newest case was reported in Stratford, Ont., on Friday, where 26 of the region’s cases have been reported as well as four deaths. The other death is from St. Marys.

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A chart from HPPH showing cumulative totals of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries from early March to May 30, 2020. The health unit notes that the graph uses symptom onset date for cumulative confirmed cases. If the person does not have symptoms, the date of the swab test is used.

A chart from HPPH showing cumulative totals of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries from early March to May 30, 2020. The health unit notes that the graph uses symptom onset date for cumulative confirmed cases. If the person does not have symptoms, the date of the swab test is used.


HPPH

As many as 23 of the region’s cases have been linked to the seven outbreaks, which have seen a total of 14 staff and nine resident cases as well as four deaths.

The deaths were associated with a since-resolved outbreak at Greenwood Court that saw six residents and 10 staff infected.

The health unit said 3,354 tests had been administered in Huron and Perth as of Saturday. Of those, 145 were awaiting test results, and 3,157 have tested negative.


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Sarnia and Lambton

The death count for COVID-19 remains the same in the region, but the total number of cases rose by one on Sunday, as well as the total number of recoveries, by two.

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According to officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH), this brings the total number of cases in the region to 263, with 200 recoveries — about 76 per cent.

The total number of deaths remains unchanged at 22.

A chart from Lambton Public Health showing the number of confirmed cases in the county by reported date, March 24 to May 30, 2020.

A chart from Lambton Public Health showing the number of confirmed cases in the county by reported date, March 24 to May 30, 2020.


Lambton Public Health

Two outbreaks remain active in Lambton, Ont., including one at Lambton Meadowview Villa in Petrolia, where one staff member has tested positive, and at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia, where a severe outbreak has seen at least 25 residents infected — one more from the day before — as well as seven deaths and 24 staff test positive.

It’s the worst outbreak reported in the county so far, surpassing the outbreak at Landmark Village that saw 30 residents infected, six deaths and 10 staff test positive. That outbreak was declared over on May 6.

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Bluewater Health in Sarnia said Sunday the facility was treating 13 COVID-19 patients on Sunday, and also seeing 20 patients who were suspected to be positive or awaiting tests — three less than the day before.

As of late Saturday, 6,500 test results had been received by county health officials. It’s unclear how many tests remain pending.

— With files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca

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

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

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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.

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June 27th Miracle Collects Over Two Million Pounds Of Food – windsoriteDOTca News

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The June 27th Miracle food drive is being called a huge success.

Organizers have finished calculating a rough estimate of 2,020,500 lbs of food.

Right now these pallets are spanned across multiple sites including the WFCU Arena (Windsor), Westport Marina (Lasalle), Atlas Tube Centre (Lakeshore), Tecumseh Arena, Libro Centre and (Amherstburg) and in the process of being sorted and distributed to food banks.

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June Muir, President and CEO of the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association and the Unemployed Help Centre is thrilled with what the June 27th Miracle did for the community. “I want to make sure everyone knows what they did on June 27th is going to help our community in Windsor and Essex County” Muir says.  “Without that help we don’t know what we’d do because some of our fundraisers aren’t going to happen this year, so what’s happened truly is a miracle.”

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Is the coronavirus airborne? What we know about COVID-19 transmission – CNET

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Aurelien Meunier/Getty
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

More than 200 scientists and experts across the globe penned an open letter on Monday to public health bodies, including the World Health Organization, arguing there’s significant evidence the coronavirus can persist in the air and spread in airborne particles from person to person. The letter, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on Monday, advocates for “the use of preventative measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission” and was signed by 239 researchers from 32 countries.

The existence of the open letter was first reported by The New York Times and Los Angeles Times on Saturday, describing the WHO as an organization “out of step with science” on the matter. 

But the science isnt yet settled on whether SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, spreads effectively and causes disease this way. It’s not a yes or no equation, and like many aspects of the pandemic, it’s a puzzle that remains unsolved.

“It’s possible and even likely that airborne transmission occurs for SARS-CoV-2 sometimes,” Babak Javid, an infectious diseases physician at the Tsinghua University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “It’s not at all clear how common this is.”

The WHO’s official guidance on the matter is the virus moves from person to person via “small droplets” that are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to travel great distances, sinking quickly to the ground. In addition, it states the virus can be picked up from surfaces. That’s why hand-washing and social distancing are important to help curb the spread.

But the signatories in the open letter argue SARS-CoV-2 lingers in the air, and this may play a role in transmission. They believe when a person with COVID-19 expels virus, the particles remain aloft and can travel great distances on air currents, particularly where ventilation is poor. “It is understood that there is not as yet universal acceptance of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV2; but in our collective assessment there is more than enough supporting evidence so that the precautionary principle should apply,” they write. 

To mitigate the risk of airborne transmission, they propose two major measures should be implemented: Better ventilation in public buildings and reducing overcrowding. It also calls for the WHO to recognize this potential route of transmission and more effectively communicate the risks associated with it. 

“We are concerned that the lack of recognition of the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the lack of clear recommendations on the control measures against the airborne virus will have significant consequences,” the researchers write. The WHO has been reticent to provide additional advice highlighting the risks, citing a lack of evidence.

Some scientists voiced concerns over the letter suggesting the concerns over airborne transmission may be overblown.

“I’m a bit shocked this came up,” says Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases researcher at the University of Toronto. “There is no new data, just a signed letter that makes headlines.”

Over the air

The debate is centered on interpretation of transmission modes, and this confusion extends to the public’s perception of how the disease spreads.

“A problem here is the potential conflict between the technical notion of airborne transmission and the perception of the general public about this term,” said Jose Vazquez-Boland, chair of infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh.  

The academic kerfuffle essentially pits “droplets” — the heavy particles that fall to the ground within six feet — against “aerosols” — light viral particles that remain suspended in the air. The key difference is the size of the particles.

“The size of [a] droplet is going to be really important, because all effectively have mass or weigh something,” explains Bruce Thompson, a respiratory expert at Swinburne University in Australia. The bigger respiratory droplets from something like a sneeze don’t stick around in the air long; they’re airborne, but they drop to the ground quickly because of gravity. Aerosols are different.

“If it’s an aerosol, it’s potentially going to be floating around the air more,” Thompson says.

These technical distinctions can make it hard for the general public to understand what it means for a virus to be “airborne.”

“For the public, it may be difficult to differentiate between the different situations and technical definitions,” Vazquez-Boland said. 

You might immediately think just going for a jog or spending time outside could result in infection as COVID-19 particles make their way into your lungs, but it’s more likely the “airborne” route occurs in densely packed, indoors settings with poor ventilation. Whether you can be infected with SARS-CoV-2 is likely context-specific, and many factors will play a role. Some of this nuance is being lost in the academic to and fro and causing some of the public’s confusion over the spread of the disease.

“There is a bit of a false dichotomy between droplet and airborne transmission,” Bogoch said. “It’s more of a spectrum rather than silos.

“COVID-19 falls closer to the droplet end of the spectrum,” Bogoch said. 

Even if the risk is understated or under-acknowledged by the WHO, it may not have a dramatic effect on combating the spread. The organization does recommend avoiding crowded places as part of their official guidance on protecting yourself from COVID-19. It also advises those who feel sick to stay home or wear a mask when leaving the house, another factor limiting the risk of airborne transmission. 

For now, whether coronavirus is airborne, the guidance remains mostly the same. Avoid crowded indoor locations, or if you must be indoors, try to spend less time there. The virus may accumulate in poorly ventilated spaces, increasing the risk of infection. 

You should continue to maintain social distancing measures. When you’re out, put on a mask. Wash your hands. And keep listening to advice from local health authorities with the caveat that information can — and will — change based on new evidence.

WHO comments

During a press briefing on Tuesday, journalists questioned the WHO about the New York Times report and the open letter, giving the organization a chance to speak publicly on the matter. 

“We acknowledge there is emerging evidence in this field,” said Benedetta Allegranzi, a WHO technical lead in infection prevention and control. “We believe that we have to be open to this evidence and understand its implications regarding the modes of transmission.”

“As we’ve said previously, we welcome the interaction from scientists all over the world,” added Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic. Van Kerkhove noted the WHO had been working on a “brief” regarding transmission for several weeks and expects it will be available “in the coming days” outlining current evidence and guidance in the area.

“We are also looking at the role of airborne transmission in other settings where you have poor ventilation,” she noted.

Updated July 7: Added WHO briefing comments. 

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