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Ninth COVID-19 related death confirmed – Timmins Press

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While no new cases were reported in the Timmins Health Unit’s catchment area on Saturday a patient whose case had previously been listed as resolved has become the region’s ninth COVID-19 related fatality.

The Porcupine Health Unit reported on Saturday a patient whose case had previously been listed as resolved has become the region’s ninth COVID-19 related fatality. FILE PHOTO/POSTMEDIA NETWORK

While no new cases were reported in the Timmins Health Unit’s catchment area on Saturday a patient whose case had previously been listed as resolved has become the region’s ninth COVID-19 related fatality.

Dr. Lianne Catton, the health unit’s Medical Officer of Health, said, “It is with great sadness I report that we have had a ninth death related to complications of their infection of COVID-19 in the Porcupine
Health Unit region.”

The man, in his 70s had been admitted to the Timmins and District Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 on July 19.

His death, however, was not related to an institutional outbreak.

Out of respect for his family, no further information will be shared.

“On behalf of the Porcupine Health Unit, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends,” Catton said.

Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer Kate Fyfe said, “Our thoughts are with family and friends during this difficult time.

“On behalf of the Timmins and District Hospital, we wish to extend our deepest condolence.”

Catton added, “We need to continue to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our families, neighbours, co-workers and communities.”

The health unit is reminding residents to stay home if they are not well, practice physical distancing when out, wear a non-medical mask or face covering in indoor public spaces or outdoors if they cannot maintain two metre distance from others, wash their hands often and avoid touching their face.

To date, a total of 16,333 have been completed in the health unit’s catchment area, with 73 positive results reported.

Of those, all 73 have been resolved with 64 officially listed as recovered, while the other nine have passed away.

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Ontario pediatricians caution on imminent crisis with rolling out flu shot | News – Daily Hive

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A group representing more than 1,400 Ontario pediatricians is cautioning “an imminent crisis” in rolling out the flu shot.

A recent online petition by members of the Ontario Medical Association are “expressing our urgent concerns regarding an imminent crisis in influenza vaccination.”

They note that more children were hospitalized last year with the flu than have been with coronavirus to date.

The group said that with the pandemic, there could be “unprecedented strong interest” among parents for the flu shot. There will also be the difficulties of the flu and coronavirus occurring at the same time in communities, and obstacles with physicians delivering vaccinations safely due to high demand.

“COVID-19 remains a growing and unpredictable threat. Not only do we want to prevent our children from getting sick with the flu, we also must prevent them from making others around them sick,” the petition adds.

In order to avoid this, the group is asking for the uptake of flu vaccine to rise from “the usual 30-35% of the population to much higher levels, especially for young children and infants over six months of age.”

In order to assist with the problem, the petition notes that Ontario pediatricians and other community physicians are willing to assist in planning large scale, community-based flu vaccination clinics.

This would allow the flu vaccine to be administered quickly and to a large part of the population, while also ensuring they’re stocked with PPE.

“These clinics could potentially be part of COVID assessment centers staffed by public health and community pediatricians and other volunteer physicians,” the group notes.

From 2019 to 2020, there was a total of 42,541 flu cases in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Daily Hive has reached out to the Ontario Ministry of Health for comment and will update the article accordingly.  

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Brandon records first COVID-19 death – Brandon Sun

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The COVID-19 pandemic claimed another victim in the Prairie Mountain Health region on Monday, with the province reporting that a woman in her 80s has died due to the virus.

Dr. Brent Roussin revealed during an afternoon news conference that this death is related to the Brandon Regional Health Centre’s Assiniboine Centre, which originally went into lockdown on Aug. 30 after staff and patients on its second floor tested positive.

This latest fatality represents the first recorded COVID-19 death within the City of Brandon since coronavirus cases began emerging in March.

However, it marks PMH’s second COVID-19-related death overall, with the first being a woman in her 60s who passed away in April after being hospitalized in the Agassiz Mountain health district (which encompasses communities like McCreary and Ste. Rose du Lac).

Roussin mentioned that a man in his 80s from the Southern Health region also recently died from COVID-19, which brings the province’s death rate up to 18 people as of Monday.

Otherwise, public health officials announced 22 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, only two of which stemmed from PMH. The remaining new cases on Monday originated from Southern Health (three), Interlake-Eastern (one) and Winnipeg (16).

With this new round of numbers, there are now 17 active coronavirus cases in Brandon, which includes a new confirmed case at Meadows School.

A press release issued by Brandon School Division Supt. Marc Casavant late Sunday afternoon revealed that the affected individual was present at the “school portable” throughout Sept. 15-16.

When asked why the province didn’t include this case in Sunday’s update, Roussin told the Sun that the act of processing every positive case takes time and occasionally results in reporting delays.

“We get many positive results and each of them has to be followed up by a public health nurse to start compiling the information: where they were? Do they go to school? Were they self-isolating? Those type of things,” he said.

Despite this recent death and confirmed school case, Roussin used Monday’s news conference to consistently praise Westman residents for their continued adherence to the “fundamentals” of COVID-19 avoidance throughout the last couple weeks.

Because of the population’s wide use of masks and physical distancing, the province lowered PMH’s Pandemic Response System threat level from orange to yellow this past Friday, which holds out hope for health regions like Winnipeg that are experiencing a spike in activity right now.

“All these fundamentals are easy to know, but they’re challenging to adhere to all the time because we’ve been doing this for long. But if we look at, say, Prairie Mountain Health, we can see the effectiveness of those actions,” Roussin said. “So we’re seeing cases increasing now in Winnipeg … but if we can get back to those fundamentals, then we can live with this virus without needing to repeatedly institute restrictions.”

Right now, the province is contending with 363 active cases and a five-day test positivity rate of 1.8 per cent. Eight people are currently hospitalized because of the virus, while two individuals are in intensive care.

Overall, there have been total of 1,608 coronavirus cases in Manitoba and 506 in PMH.

Confirmed laboratory testing numbers show that 4,167 tests were completed over the weekend, bringing the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 166,998.

» kdarbyson@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson

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Alberta won't remove symptoms from COVID-19 student checklist – CBC.ca

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Alberta won’t follow B.C’s lead and cut down the list of COVID-19 symptoms parents must screen their school children for each morning.

The B.C. list of symptoms shrunk by more than half on Monday when the province’s health ministry removed 10 of the 17 symptoms from the checklist including a sore throat and a runny nose.

Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, says although mild symptoms are very common in children, it’s not a move the province is ready for.

“I think in Alberta, we’re not far enough along yet to know whether or not we could take some of those symptoms off of our lists without increasing the risk that COVID-19 could be introduced into the school,” Hinshaw said at her regular media briefing.

“So right now we are keeping our list as is.”

B.C.’s ministry said it removed some symptoms because of the low probability that the symptoms by themselves indicate the student had COVID-19. 

There was also concern that because those symptoms, which also include headache and fatigue, are so common in children, some kids would be unnecessarily excluded, the ministry added.

“This has been something that has been discussed at length as we try to reach that right balance between keeping our kids in school and making sure that their learning is as smooth as possible, while at the same time minimizing the risk of a COVID-19 introduction and spread,” Hinshaw said.

She said Alberta Health officials would be watching the experiences of B.C. and other provinces and territories “and if we feel that we can make that change without putting our schools at risk, then we will consider it.”

The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) is not in favour of following B.C.’s lead either, saying any decision must be made through science and research by Hinshaw.

“Daily symptom screenings is a cornerstone of the safety measures in place to protect students, teachers and educational staff in our schools,” wrote Jason Schilling, ATA president.

“We would not support any changes to the list of symptoms at this time.”

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