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No new COVID-19 cases in N.L. Monday, more travellers advised to get tested

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There are no new cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador on Monday, and the health minister is providing more details on the province’s latest death related to the virus.

The province has four active cases. The total caseload is 277, with four deaths.

The most recent death was reported Saturday: a man, between the ages of 60 and 69, in the Western Health region who arrived in Canada from Central Africa. It was confirmed Sunday that a woman linked to that case also has COVID-19.

She, too, is in the Western Health region, between the ages of 60 and 69, and also travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador from Central Africa.

The man had been granted a travel exemption to come to the province. Neither of the two Western Health cases worked in health care, the health authority confirmed Monday.

Who should get tested expanded

On Monday, the Department of Health expanded who should get tested for the virus in relation to those two cases over the weekend.

Specifically, anyone who sat in rows 13 through 17 of Air Canada Flight 604 from Toronto to Halifax on Wednesday should should call 811 to be tested, said the release, which also encouraged anyone else aboard that flight to be tested “out of an abundance of caution.” The Department of Health also urged those travellers to self-isolate for 14 days from their date of their arrival, which, under provincial rules, they should already have been doing. With few exceptions, all travellers to the province from outside the Atlantic bubble must self-isolate for 14 days.

The department said people who flew from Halifax to Deer Lake that same day aboard Air Canada Flight 8876 who need to self-isolate have already been instructed to do so, and all other passengers should self-monitor for symptoms.

Man was tested for COVID-19 after his death

According to the Department of Health, the deceased man travelled from Central Africa to Canada on Tuesday, and then travelled to the Western Health region, aboard those two flights Wednesday.

He died a day later while in self-isolation.

“My understanding is that COVID-19 will be put on the death certificate as a supplemental cause of death,” Haggie said in the legislature Monday, in response to pressure from the Opposition.

He would not provide a response to a direct question about whether the man was tested after he died, citing the family’s privacy as a reason not to disclose that information.

Speaking to reporters Monday afternoon, Haggie confirmed the man who died had not been tested in Canada before his death.

“I have no direct, confirmed information about whether or not they were tested outside of Canada,” he said. “All I can tell you is they were tested after [the man’s] death.”

 

Western Health confirmed to CBC News that neither the man who died, nor the woman who also tested positive for COVID-19 on the weekend, were health-care workers. (CBC)

 

Aside from people on those flights, Haggie said, there was no risk to anybody outside the contact tracing that has already happened.

Haggie reiterated his support for the way his department has released information so far on the man’s death.

He said health officials encountered some challenges over the weekend in terms of obtaining information. Specifically, they had to ask the man’s family what row they sat in on their flight. Family members could not find their boarding passes, he said.

He emphasized the often fluid nature of gathering information on COVID-19 cases. “If we didn’t answer a question, then I’ll apologize, and we’ll do our best to do it better,” he said.

As of Monday, 44,296 people have been tested, including 175 people since Sunday.

Haggie defends communication strategy

Haggie revealed more information about the fatality in Monday’s legislature, in response to pressure from the Opposition.

PC MHA David Brazil asked for clarification about whether the man had died from COVID-19 or from another cause.

 

Health Minister John Haggie would not respond to direct inquiries about COVID-19 testing on the man who died over the weekend. (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

 

Haggie instead pointed to a recommendation from the Conference Board of Canada that said Atlantic Canadian policies have been an example for the rest of the country to follow.

“At a time when there are over a thousand new cases a day in some provinces, we are seeing scattered cases, and we are controlling those as and when they appear,” he said.

Brazil quoted from a CBC News report noting scattered, and sometimes inaccurate or misleading, information from the health department in recent days.

Haggie defended the department.

“Information evolves. Sometimes a test needs to be repeated. And rather than come out with inaccurate information, we wait, and we get it right,” he said.

Source:- CBC.ca

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Toronto launches its own website and hotline for COVID-19 vaccination appointments – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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The City of Toronto will begin vaccinating people ages 80 and over at three mass immunization clinics starting next week.

During a news conference on Monday, Mayor John Tory said the three clinics, which are located at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the Scarborough Town Centre, and the Toronto Congress Centre, will open on March 17.

The city is launching an interim system for residents to book appointments while it waits for the Government of Ontario’s provincewide online portal to go live on March 15.

“In order to avoid delaying the launch of city-run clinic operations, we are working with our provincial partners to establish an interim registration and booking process for these three initial clinics,” Matthew Pegg, the general manager of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management, said on Monday.

“This interim solution will build on our previous proof-of-concept clinic operational plans. Our teams are hard at work now finalizing all of these details.”

The clinics will operate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and details on how to book appointments will be provided “in the coming days,” Pegg said.

“These openings, two weeks ahead of schedule, are possible thanks to a shipment of 17,500 doses coming directly to Toronto Public Health next week,” Tory said on Monday.

“The opening of these larger vaccination sites will represent an expansion of the network of hospital-based clinics and community and mobile initiatives now underway and will be further expanded to include pharmacies as that pilot project proceeds.”

An additional six city-run clinics will open as vaccine supply ramps up in the coming weeks,” Tory said.

City-run clinics will receive a total of 17,500 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on the week of March 15, 98,920 doses on the week of March 22, 174,200 doses on March 29, 80,730 doses on the week of April 5, and 80,730 doses on the week of April 12.

Hospitals in Toronto, which receive vaccine allocations directly from the province, are already booking appointments to vaccinate people in the community who are eligible.

To date, a little more than 200,000 Toronto residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The city says it will have the capacity to administer 975,000 doses per month at these mass immunization clinics when vaccine supply allows and the clinics will be able to operate 24-hours a day as needed.

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B.C.’s top doctor hints at gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in coming weeks – Global News

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B.C.’s top doctor says the province may be easing COVID-19 restrictions in the weeks ahead, but that some measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be around for some time.

In a press briefing held Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said as more people are immunized and the weather gets warmer, her team is looking at how to “safely ease restrictions” designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Henry said any changes to COVID-19 rules would be gradual, akin to “slowly turning up the dial rather than flipping a switch.”


Click to play video 'Seniors over 80 can book vaccines in some B.C. communities this week'



3:30
Seniors over 80 can book vaccines in some B.C. communities this week


Seniors over 80 can book vaccines in some B.C. communities this week

“We’re not going to rush to get things open, but we will take a thoughtful, careful and phased approach over the next few weeks,” Henry said.

Story continues below advertisement

Henry noted measures such as social distancing, and wearing masks will remain important. She also reiterated that “outside is better than inside” as the virus is less transmissible outdoors.

Read more:
B.C. reports 1,462 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 11 deaths

Henry raised the prospect of a return to “activities outside that we can do in groups with precautions in place, small groups that we can do for games and summer camps or spring camps, and safe, small groups with masks and safety precautions in place.”


Click to play video 'Outreach efforts look to overcome language and cultural barriers as B.C. begins mass vaccinations'



1:58
Outreach efforts look to overcome language and cultural barriers as B.C. begins mass vaccinations


Outreach efforts look to overcome language and cultural barriers as B.C. begins mass vaccinations

“As well, we’ll be looking at how we can travel and explore during March break, as a family or a small group together with our household, exploring our own region.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

She also said there have been discussions with community faith leaders about a gradual return to in-person services.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
No masks, no distancing: U.S. CDC says fully vaccinated people can gather indoors

The US CDC released guidelines that said fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.

Henry said the CDC guidelines looked “fairly reasonable” and something similar could be implemented in B.C. at some point in the future.

Read more:
No masks, no distancing: U.S. CDC says fully vaccinated people can gather indoors

“Right now, we’re not at that point where we have enough of the people who are at risk immunized that we can have overall guidance,” she said.

“But I think that’s a very good example of what we can look forward to as more people are protected, particularly more of our seniors and elders, in the coming months.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix urged caution, noting that about 15 per cent of B.C.’s eligible residents are expected to be immunized by the end of the month, which is “nothing like herd immunity.”

Read more:
Alberta opens rest of Step 2 relaunch as 278 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

“The future is bright, but we can’t live the future right now. We’ve got to live the now right now.”

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, Alberta lifted more COVID-19 public health restrictions, including allowing more people to shop in retail stores and malls.

— With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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B.C.’s top doctor hints at gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in coming weeks – Global News

Published

 on


B.C.’s top doctor says the province may be easing COVID-19 restrictions in the weeks ahead, but that some measures designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus will be around for some time.

In a press briefing held Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said as more people are immunized and the weather gets warmer, her team is looking at how to “safely ease restrictions” designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Henry said any changes to COVID-19 rules would be gradual, akin to “slowly turning up the dial rather than flipping a switch.”


Click to play video 'Seniors over 80 can book vaccines in some B.C. communities this week'



3:30
Seniors over 80 can book vaccines in some B.C. communities this week


Seniors over 80 can book vaccines in some B.C. communities this week

“We’re not going to rush to get things open, but we will take a thoughtful, careful and phased approach over the next few weeks,” Henry said.

Story continues below advertisement

Henry noted measures such as social distancing, and wearing masks will remain important. She also reiterated that “outside is better than inside” as the virus is less transmissible outdoors.

Read more:
B.C. reports 1,462 new COVID-19 cases over three days, 11 deaths

Henry raised the prospect of a return to “activities outside that we can do in groups with precautions in place, small groups that we can do for games and summer camps or spring camps, and safe, small groups with masks and safety precautions in place.”


Click to play video 'Outreach efforts look to overcome language and cultural barriers as B.C. begins mass vaccinations'



1:58
Outreach efforts look to overcome language and cultural barriers as B.C. begins mass vaccinations


Outreach efforts look to overcome language and cultural barriers as B.C. begins mass vaccinations

“As well, we’ll be looking at how we can travel and explore during March break, as a family or a small group together with our household, exploring our own region.”

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

She also said there have been discussions with community faith leaders about a gradual return to in-person services.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
No masks, no distancing: U.S. CDC says fully vaccinated people can gather indoors

The US CDC released guidelines that said fully-vaccinated Americans can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.

Henry said the CDC guidelines looked “fairly reasonable” and something similar could be implemented in B.C. at some point in the future.

Read more:
No masks, no distancing: U.S. CDC says fully vaccinated people can gather indoors

“Right now, we’re not at that point where we have enough of the people who are at risk immunized that we can have overall guidance,” she said.

“But I think that’s a very good example of what we can look forward to as more people are protected, particularly more of our seniors and elders, in the coming months.”

Health Minister Adrian Dix urged caution, noting that about 15 per cent of B.C.’s eligible residents are expected to be immunized by the end of the month, which is “nothing like herd immunity.”

Read more:
Alberta opens rest of Step 2 relaunch as 278 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

“The future is bright, but we can’t live the future right now. We’ve got to live the now right now.”

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, Alberta lifted more COVID-19 public health restrictions, including allowing more people to shop in retail stores and malls.

— With files from The Associated Press and The Canadian Press

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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