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No new public health restrictions in works: Roussin – Winnipeg Free Press

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No further public health restrictions have been announced to counter high COVID-19 infection rates in lower-vaccinated areas of the province, and none are currently being planned, Manitoba’s top doctor says.

Despite publicly dropping hints earlier this month more restrictions could be on the way, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Wednesday there is nothing in the works right now.

“It’s a little difficult to know the effects of the restrictions that we implemented most recently. We look at a number of things as we move forward,” he said during a virtual news conference.

Public health is still looking at case counts, transmission trends and test positivity rates, but severe health outcomes, such as hospitalizations and ICU stays, are what would drive further restrictions, Roussin said.

“We don’t have any immediate plans on that,” he said Wednesday when asked about future restrictions.

Roussin said he’s still concerned about the high transmission of the novel coronavirus, particularly in the Southern Health region, which has the lowest vaccination rates in Manitoba. Any further public health orders would have to target unvaccinated Manitobans, he suggested, but didn’t offer any specifics on any additional actions under consideration.

“I wouldn’t say I’m confident that no further restrictions will be required. I’m certainly concerned about that level of transmission we’re seeing.”

Roussin and provincial Health Minister Audrey Gordon both said during a Nov. 12 news conference they could impose new restrictions on short notice and would not hesitate to do so.

“We do have other measures that we can take, and so I will be looking with Dr. Roussin and public health officials at the numbers and the cases, and we may be back here as early as next week,” Gordon said at the time.

The number of intensive care admissions in Manitoba is relatively stable, Roussin said. But case counts are still going up and could continue to climb for the next few weeks. Manitoba still has one of the highest infection rates among the provinces.

There were 147 new cases, three additional deaths, and a provincewide test positivity rate of 5.9 per cent recorded Wednesday.

Manitoba is also reducing the amount of public data it will supply as the pandemic continues.

Roussin announced Wednesday 98 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the province are caused by the delta variant. Since the variant is overwhelmingly dominant, the province will no longer specifically indicate in its data when cases are linked to variants of concern. If a new variant of concern pops up, Roussin said, officials will report it.

“It’s not really serving much of a purpose to continue that reporting (of the delta variant),” he said.

“We’re certainly surveilling for new variants of concern, surveilling for a change in transmission patterns or levels of severity, so certainly, if we see something that makes us change our mind on that, then absolutely, we’ll adjust our approach.”

After Nov. 26, the province will no longer publicly post online lists of potential public exposures to COVID-19 on flights, trains and other transportation. The change reflects the requirement for travellers over age 12 to be fully vaccinated, Roussin said, and won’t change contact tracing processes or other requirements the province has to report certain travel cases to the federal Public Health Agency of Canada.

katie.may@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @thatkatiemay

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RELEASE: COVID concerns at Signal Brewery – Quinte News

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Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is advising individuals who attended Signal Brewery (Corbyville) between November 19 – December 4 that they may have had an exposure to COVID-19. HPEPH is in the process of investigating multiple cases of COVID-19 that were present at the restaurant during this time frame. Signal Brewery has closed voluntarily while the investigation is underway.

All individuals who attended Signal Brewery between November 19 – December 4 are:

  • Advised to seek testing immediately for COVID-19, even if you do not have symptoms.
    • Book an appointment online for the Belleville or Trenton testing centre. You can also call 613-961-5544).
    • For other testing options, please visit hpepublichealth.ca/getting-tested-for-covid-19/
    • When seeking testing, please provide investigation number 2238-2021-51372 to the testing centre.
  • Monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If symptoms develop, even mild ones such as a runny nose or sore throat, isolate at home and away from others, and seek testing again, even if you were negative the first time.

While HPEPH does not typically disclose the location of COVID-19 cases in order to protect individuals’ privacy, this information is disclosed when needed to meet public health objectives such as prompt notification of potential contacts and reducing the risk of further transmission. HPEPH is in the process of contacting identified high-risk contacts related to these cases. All high-risk contacts will be instructed by HPEPH to self-isolate immediately and to get tested.

“I am urging individuals who attended Signal Brewery on these dates to seek testing, even if they do not have symptoms, in order to protect those around them,” says Dr. Ethan Toumishey, Acting Medical Officer of Health at HPEPH. “All residents are asked to remain vigilant and protect one another – and this includes getting tested if advised, staying home and getting tested if you have symptoms, and limiting your close contacts. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

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WECHU issues additional COVID-19 measures | CTV News – CTV News Windsor

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The Windsor Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has issued a letter of instruction, aiming to address a surge in COVID-19 cases.

With cases of COVID-19 climbing steadily in the past month, local health officials say they are once again putting in place restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

According to the health unit, the updated letter addresses the key settings associated with COVID-19 transmission identified through ongoing case investigations, which have identified social gatherings as an area of significant concern.

In particular, the revised Letter of Instruction contains the following additional measures:

  • Social gatherings limited to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
  • Added measures for wedding receptions and the social events tied to funerals and religious services.
  • Limiting indoor capacity for bars and restaurants to 50% of their total occupancy.
  • Strict adherence to face covering requirements in all public settings.

Without further intervention, WECHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Shanker Nesathurai believes cases can reach levels similar to those seen at the same time last year.

“We are very worried that we are already seeing this surge of cases in advance of the holiday season and its associated social gatherings,” said Nesathurai. “Immediate action needs to be taken by all residents to address the known sources of transmission which are social gatherings, both in homes and in the community.”

The updated changes go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10. 

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INQUINTE.CA | Health unit warns of COVID exposure at Signal – inquinte.ca

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