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Ninth Manitoban dies from COVID-19; province reports 20 new cases Saturday – Winnipeg Free Press

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The Free Press has made this story available free of charge so everyone can access trusted information on the coronavirus.

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A ninth Manitoban has died of COVID-19 and 20 new cases were announced by provincial health officials on Saturday.

The 80-year-old man, from the Portage la Prairie health district, is a previously reported case connected to a known cluster and he had been in intensive care prior to his death.

The province also announced 20 new cases of COVID-19 detected as of 9:30 a.m. on Saturday: 11 in Winnipeg, six in the Southern Health Region and three in the Prairie Mountain Region. Several of the new cases in Winnipeg appear to be linked to travel or close contact of a known case, the province said in a news release.

Manitoba now has 663 lab-confirmed positive and probable positive COVID-19 cases. The province has 211 active cases, nine current hospitalizations and three people in intensive care, while 443 people have recovered from the coronavirus.

“We’ve seen this growth in cases. We know that many of them are linked to other cases or to clusters, but we are seeing some evidence of community-based transmission at this point,” Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, said during Friday’s media briefing. “But again, we know what we need to do. We’ve done it before. We have been doing it all along, but we need to be reminded of those fundamentals.”

Roussin encouraged Manitobans to wear a mask, but the province isn’t mandating them at this time. He double-downed on following the fundamentals: using hand sanitizer, physical distancing and staying home if experiencing any symptoms, even minor ones.

“This isn’t just for another month or two, this virus is for another year or two,” he said. “We can’t rely on massive shutdowns to get through this.”

Of all confirmed and probable cases, including deaths and recoveries, in Winnipeg and Manitoba, the 20-29 and 30-39 year old age groups make up the most positive tests.

Right now, there are 112 active COVID-19 cases in the Prairie Mountain Region, 54 in Winnipeg, 41 in the Southern Health Region and four in the Interlake-Eastern Region. A large cluster of the Prairie Mountain cases root from the Maple Leaf plant in Brandon, MB.

On Friday, Pizzeria Gusto and The Merchant Kitchen posted on their social media that they would be asking for identification prior to entry.

“If you are from outside of Manitoba and the city of Brandon (excluding Lake of Woods & Kenora area) you will be asked to show a negative COVID-19 test,” Pizzeria Gusto’s Instagram story said. “We would love to have each and every one of you in, but the safety of our staff and our guests is our top priority.”

Dr. Roussin was asked about the situation at Friday’s media briefing.

“We discourage that,” said Roussin. “Remember a negative COVID test and an asymptomatic person has very low value. A negative COVID test that I received the result of today, means two to three days ago I was negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m negative today if I’m asymptomatic.”

Today, Pizzeria Gusto and The Merchant Kitchen said they are no longer asking for ID or requesting negative COVID-19 tests prior to entry.

“The messaging posted to our Instagram accounts yesterday was a result of miscommunication and does not reflect our policies,” said Bobby Mottola, owner of both restaurants. “… We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”

The new statement from Mottola on both restaurant’s Instagram accounts added they will follow the provincial and federal health guidelines, but also said they are offering curbside pickup and contactless delivery to people who recently returned from travel.

 

kellen.taniguchi@freepress.mb.ca

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Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine won't be ready by US election: Report – Times of India

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WASHINGTON: US biotech firm Moderna won’t seek an emergency use authorization for its coronavirus vaccine before November 25, its CEO told the Financial Times on Wednesday.
The news deals a blow to President Donald Trump‘s hopes of having an injection ready before the election to give his campaign a much-needed boost.
Stephane Bancel told the newspaper: “November 25 is the time we will have enough safety data to be able to put into an EUA file that we would send to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) – assuming that the safety data is good, i.e. a vaccine is deemed to be safe.”
Trump, whose approval has taken a hit over his handling of the Covid-19 crisis, has frequently hinted a vaccine could be ready before the November 3 vote.
This has raised concern among experts that his administration may attempt to interfere with the regulatory process for political reasons.
The Republican repeated his claim on Tuesday night, during a debate with his Democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden.
“It’s a possibility that we’ll have the answer before November 1,” he said.
Moderna’s vaccine is one of 11 experimental vaccines in final stage trials.
Another is being developed by Pfizer, whose CEO Albert Bourla has taken the position that his company may have a clear answer about whether their shot works by October.
Most experts are skeptical of the claim, believing that the ongoing trials will not have sufficient statistical data to prove the drug’s safety and effectiveness by that time.
Speaking to the Washington Post on Tuesday, Bourla denied he was attempting to curry favor with the president by making his October claim.
“For me, the election day is an artificial day. The end of October is an artificial day. This is how we operate. If we can bring it earlier, we will,” he said.

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine appears safe, shows signs of working in older adults: study – Reuters

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CHICAGO (Reuters) – Results from an early safety study of Moderna Inc’s MRNA.O coronavirus vaccine candidate in older adults showed that it produced virus-neutralizing antibodies at levels similar to those seen in younger adults, with side effects roughly on par with high-dose flu shots, researchers said on Tuesday.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers a more complete picture of the vaccine’s safety in older adults, a group at increased risk of severe complications from COVID-19.

The findings are reassuring because immunity tends to weaken with age, Dr. Evan Anderson, one of the study’s lead researchers from Emory University in Atlanta, said in a phone interview.

The study was an extension of Moderna’s Phase I safety trial, first conducted in individuals aged 18-55. It tested two doses of Moderna’s vaccine – 25 micrograms and 100 micrograms – in 40 adults aged 56 to 70 and 71 and older.

Overall, the team found that in older adults who received two injections of the 100 microgram dose 28 days apart, the vaccine produced immune responses roughly in line with those seen in younger adults.

Moderna is already testing the higher dose in a large Phase III trial, the final stage before seeking emergency authorization or approval.

Side effects, which included headache, fatigue, body aches, chills and injection site pain, were deemed mainly mild to moderate.

Slideshow ( 3 images )

In at least two cases, however, volunteers had severe reactions.

One developed a grade three fever, which is classified as 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit (39°C) or above, after receiving the lower vaccine dose. Another developed fatigue so severe it temporarily prevented daily activities, Anderson said.

Typically, side effects occurred soon after receiving the vaccine and resolved quickly, he said.

“This is similar to what a lot of older adults are going to experience with the high dose influenza vaccine,” Anderson said. “They might feel off or have a fever.”

Norman Hulme, a 65-year-old senior multimedia developer at Emory who took the lower dose of the vaccine, said he felt compelled to take part in the trial after watching first responders in New York and Washington State fight the virus.

“I really had no side effects at all,” said Hulme, who grew up in the New York area.

Hulme said he was aware Moderna’s vaccine employed a new technology, and that there might be a risk in taking it, but said, “somebody had to do it.”

Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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The financial impact of COVID-19 on Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries

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WINNIPEG —
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation’s net income was $24 million below the budget, according to the province’s fiscal update.

The numbers, released Tuesday, states the lower than anticipated revenue is due to impacts from COVID-19, including declining attendance and the closure of casinos and VLT networks in March.

The Casinos of Winnipeg began experiencing declining attendance in the last month of 2019/20, and on March 18, 2020, the provincial government required all Manitoba casinos to close.

For March 2020, revenues were nearly 70 per cent lower than the same period of 2018/19.

The annual report said revenue from casinos dropped $8.6 million this year, a 3.4 per cent decline.

During the month of March, bars and restaurants across Manitoba began to close voluntarily due to reduced business, as patrons heeded physical distancing and stay-at-home recommendations. VLT revenues were 40 per cent lower compared to March 2019, and liquor sales to licensees were also down 24 per cent in March 2020 compared to the prior year.

All other liquor channels experienced strong sales in March 2020, led by Liquor Marts at 29 per cent above March 2019.

Liquor revenue jumped by $13 million, mostly from sales at Liquor Marts.

Cannabis sales nearly doubled, bringing in nearly $51 million in 2020, compared to just under $27 million.

Casinos in Manitoba began reopening on July 25.

Source: – CTV News Winnipeg

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