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Not all parents may be told of COVID cases linked to their children's school, health officials say – North Delta Reporter

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Health officials won’t likely notify the parents of all children who attend schools where a student who has tested positive for COVID-19 this fall.

Officials with Fraser Health say they will tell staff, and those parents of children, “considered likely or potentially exposed to COVID-19, who therefore may be incubating the virus.”

But everyone at the school is “unlikely” to be told that someone who attended the building has been diagnosed with the virus, Fraser Health officials said in an email sent to The News.

“If Fraser Health Public Health were to identify a positive COVID-19 case connected to a school, they would first determine if there was an exposure at the school during the person’s infectious period,” a spokesperson said in an email.

Those notified, Fraser Health said, “would likely include those within a learning group or cohort, but unlikely the entire school population due to COVID-19 plans that the school would have in place.”

In the event of a positive test, health officials will speak to staff to “determine the transmission risk” and the potential exposures.

Fraser Health said: “Every time there is a positive test in B.C., Public Health connects with anyone who may have come into contact with the case so they are aware and can be monitored for symptoms.”

RELATED: Abbotsford school district releases back-to-school plan

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Toronto Public Health preparing for second wave of COVID-19 – 680 News

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New daily COVID-19 cases are looking very similar to when the virus brought our daily lives to full-on standstill.

The bulk of Sunday’s new cases came in Toronto and the Peel Region, but data suggests the York region now could also be an emerging hotspot with 38 infections that day alone.

Toronto Public Health is preparing for a resurgence of COVID-19, and on Monday will present the board of health with three possible scenarios of what a second wave could look like.

Scenario one would see peaks and valleys, which public health describes as a series of small waves, and could require a reinstitution of public health measures.

The second scenario warns of a large wave in the fall or winter and one or more smaller subsequent waves in 2021, which would require the reinstitution of lockdown measures in an attempt to reduce the spread of infection and prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

Scenario 3 predicts a slow burn, with no clear wave pattern. Public health says this would not require further lockdowns.

Monday’s meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

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Sore throat, runny nose among symptoms removed from student health checklist, province confirms – CBC.ca

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The list of symptoms parents are urged to screen their kids for each morning before they send them to school has gotten shorter.

Since the reopening of schools across the province, parents have been asked to monitor their children for symptoms of COVID-19, with districts releasing a daily health checklist. Fever, chills, and shortness of breath are among the 17 symptoms parents were told to screen for.

Kids that exhibited any of the symptoms were urged to stay home.

But that list of symptoms has been reduced, B.C.’s Ministry of Health has confirmed. Ten symptoms have been removed, including sore throat, runny nose, headache, and fatigue. Districts have since released updated daily health checklists.

“This was a recommendation from public health to remove some of the symptoms, given the very low probability of these symptoms by themselves indicating COVID,” the ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

“They are also very common in children so there are concerns that it would unnecessarily exclude children,” said the ministry.

The bulk of the symptoms removed from the daily health check for students are still included in both B.C.’s self-assessment tool and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s list of COVID-19 symptoms.

Some parents concerned

Parents like North Vancouver’s Amitis Khorsandi say the sudden change has reignited health concerns she had before sending her five-year-old to kindergarten. She fears some COVID-19-positive students could slip through the cracks.

“A lot of people made tough decisions to go back to school, and we’re all taking a risk to send our kids … and then within a week, or less than a week, the rules have already changed,” she said.

Parents are asked to screen children for the following symptoms daily:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

The following symptoms have been removed from the daily checklist:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle aches
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rash or discolouration of fingers and toes

The ministry says it’s still important to seek medical assessment if children are exhibiting a combination of symptoms.

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Will there be a twindemic? Fighting COVID-19 means fighting the flu – Ottawa Citizen

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Article content continued

The flu presents its own dangers. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, there are an average of about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths related to the flu every year. Based on laboratory testing, there were 42,541 cases of seasonal influenza in 2019-2020.

“Everyone should get the flu vaccine this year,” Wilson said. “It’s a no-brainer.”

Concern about a potential twindemic is not overblown, epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Kwong said.

“Most health care workers would say we’re barely managing in a normal flu season. We’re always on the verge of collapse. If you add COVID, we’re in big trouble,”  said Kwong, a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

“The biggest problem with how we view influenza is that there are other respiratory viruses circulating,” he said. “The flu is a whole bunch of viruses with a whole bunch of different presentations. They’re impossible to distinguish without lab tests.”

If people let down their guard on measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, such as wearing masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene, there will be a twindemic, Kwong said.

“If people keep having parties, we’ll have influenza. But, if you can control COVID, you can control influenza.”

It is also possible, but rare, to be infected with flu and COVID-19 at the same time. A study published in June in the Journal of Medical Virology found that, among 1,103 patients who had been diagnosed with COVID‐19 in three hospitals in Istanbul, Turkey, six were diagnosed as also being infected with influenza. Co-infected patients have been reported in China, Germany, Iran,  Japan, Spain and the United States.

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