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Nova Scotia salons, stylists learn proposed regulations for opening after COVID-19 – The Journal Pioneer




Stylists and salon owners in Nova Scotia learned what new regulations could be put in place to reopen after being closed due to COVID-19 public health prevention measures. 

The regulations were outlined during a video conference hosted by the Cosmetology Association of Nova Scotia on Thursday, which they said are in the process of being reviewed by Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer Robert Strang. Strang must give approval before they are implemented. 

These regulations dictate all staff and clients must wear masks at all times. Staff can choose to wear a face shield instead. 

There will be no waiting rooms (clients have to stay in their cars until receiving a text they can come in), no magazines to look at and no drinks available for clients.

If there can’t be six feet between workstations or sinks, a Plexiglas divider must be installed. All reception desks also need a Plexiglas shield and customers can’t touch retail items until after purchase. 

The regulations also forbid double booking clients — a common practice in the beauty industry which allows a stylist to work on more than one client at a time. While one client’s colour is setting, a stylist could start another or do a cut, which increases their earning potential. Estheticians could also start a new customer’s nails while the previous one has dried — but with no waiting rooms, they can’t. 

This inevitable loss in revenue is causing concern for many in the industry, despite their eagerness to get back to work. 

Tracie Breski smiles for a selfie inside her Sydney business, Tracie’s Salon and Spa, before having to close due to COVID-19 prevention measures. CONTRIBUTED – Nicole Sullivan

“When you’re working and you’re used to working on three or four clients at a time, taking it down to one is going to be hard,” said Alma Head, owner of two Alma’s Family Hair Salon and Tanning locations. 

“That’s going to be a little hard for the profits. Hairdressers live off of double bookings… No customers means no money but hopefully in a few months it can go back to our new normal, whatever that is.” 

Tracie Breski, owner of Tracie’s Salon and Spa in Sydney, also admitted she was a bit concerned about the loss of revenue for her and her staff. 

“We will be working with half the volume of clients we were dealing with before,” said Breskie, who’s been in the industry for 30 years. “It was suggested we raise our prices to offset the loss of revenues and the increase in overhead, but my goal wouldn’t be to put that responsibility back on the client… It’s not their fault this happened.” 

Head also thinks raising prices isn’t feasible. 

“Unless the $80 colour turns into a $200 colour, we can’t raise our prices enough to cover the losses,” she said, noting she hopes the regulations will relax in a few months.

“At the end of the week, you’re going to have some stylists asking is this worth it… If it continues like this, we’re going to see a lot of people leaving this industry.”  

Challenges aside, both salon owners said they were motivated by the video conference, eager to reopen and happy to learn what they’d need to do before getting back to business.

Head, a stylist for more than 30 years, has already started renovating her two salons (in New Waterford and Sydney) estimates it will cost $10,000. Breski is starting to work out the details for her Sydney salon, determining what can be moved to keep six feet (two metres) in between stations and sourcing quotes for Plexiglas dividers. She also estimates costs for her will be “in the thousands” to get the work done. 

However, both are determined to get back to business and make the new style of services work. Focusing on the positives, both stress their main priority is keeping their staff and clients safe and they plan to follow all regulations by the book. At the end of the day, they just want to be working again. 

“I love the spa. I love it,” said Breski. “I love going there. I love the staff. I love the clients. It’s our family. This has all be hard emotionally.” 


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Some in B.C. cross U.S. border for their next COVID-19 vaccine – Global News



Global News Hour at 6 BC

There is evidence of the lengths some British Columbians will go to get a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine — crossing the border to Point Roberts, WA for a shot. The movement comes thanks to the different approach to the fourth shot south of the border. Catherine Urquhart reports.

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Unknown hepatitis in children: Will it become a pandemic too? – CGTN




The number of cases of a mysterious acute hepatitis in children continues to increase worldwide, with most cases occurring in Europe. As of May 10, 348 suspected cases had been reported in at least 20 countries. Information and data have pointed to an adenovirus called adenovirus-41 (HAdV-41) as the possible culprit. Does it have anything to do with COVID? Will it become a pandemic? How do we protect ourselves from it?

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Study tracks hospital readmission risk for COVID-19 patients in Alberta, Ontario –



A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge.

At roughly nine per cent, researchers say the readmission rate is similar to that seen for other ailments, but socio-economic factors and sex seem to play a bigger role in predicting which patients are most likely to suffer a downturn when sent home.

Research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at 46,412 adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario during the first part of the pandemic. About 18 per cent — 8,496 patients — died in hospital between January 2020 and October 2021, which was higher than the norm for other respiratory tract infections.

Among those sent home, about nine per cent — 2,759 patients — returned to hospital within 30 days of leaving, while two per cent — 712 patients — died. The deaths include patients who returned to hospital.

The combined rate of readmission or death was similar in each province, at 9.9 per cent or 783 patients in Alberta, and 10.6 per cent or 2,390 patients in Ontario.

For those wondering if the patients were discharged too soon, the report found most spent less than a month in hospital and patients who stayed longer were actually readmitted at a slightly higher rate.

“We initially wondered, ‘Were people being sent home too early?’ … and there was no association between length of stay in hospital and readmission rates, which is reassuring,” co-author Dr. Finlay McAlister, a professor of general internal medicine at the University of Alberta, said from Edmonton.

“So it looked like clinicians were identifying the right patients to send home.”

Examining the peaks

Craig Jenne, an associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Calgary who was not involved in the research, said the study suggests that the health-care system was able to withstand the pressures of the pandemic. 

“We’ve heard a lot about how severe this disease can be and there was always a little bit of fear that, because of health-care capacity, that people were perhaps rushed out of the system,” Jenne said. “There was a significant increase in loss of life but this wasn’t due to system processing of patients.

“Care was not sacrificed despite the really unprecedented pressure put on staff and systems during the peaks of those early waves.” 

The study also provides important insight on the power of vaccines in preventing severe outcomes, Jenne said.

Of all the patients admitted with COVID-19 in both provinces, 91 per cent in Alberta and 95 per cent in Ontario were unvaccinated, the study found.

The report found readmitted patients tended to be male, older, and have multiple comorbidities and previous hospital visits and admissions. They were also more likely to be discharged with home care or to a long-term care facility.

McAlister also found socio-economic status was a factor, noting that hospitals traditionally use a scoring system called LACE to predict outcomes by looking at length of stay, age, comorbidities and past emergency room visits, but “that wasn’t as good a predictor for post-COVID patients.”

“Including things like socio-economic status, male sex and where they were actually being discharged to were also big influences. It comes back to the whole message that we’re seeing over and over with COVID: that socio-economic deprivation seems to be even more important for COVID than for other medical conditions.”

McAlister said knowing this could help transition co-ordinators and family doctors decide which patients need extra help when they leave the hospital.

‘Deprivation’ indicators

On its own, LACE had only a modest ability to predict readmission or death but adding variables including the patient’s neighbourhood and sex improved accuracy by 12 per cent, adds supporting co-author Dr. Amol Verma, an internal medicine physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

The study did not tease out how much socio-economic status itself was a factor, but did look at postal codes associated with so-called “deprivation” indicators like lower education and income among residents.

Readmission was about the same regardless of neighbourhood, but patients from postal codes that scored high on the deprivation index were more likely to be admitted for COVID-19 to begin with, notes Verma.

Verma adds that relying on postal codes does have limitations in assessing socio-economic status since urban postal codes can have wide variation in their demographic. He also notes the study did not include patients without a postal code.

McAlister said about half of the patients returned because of breathing difficulties, which is the most common diagnosis for readmissions of any type.

He suspected many of those problems would have been difficult to prevent, suggesting “it may just be progression of the underlying disease.”

Looking at readmissions is just the tip of the iceberg.-Dr. Finlay McAlister-Dr. Finlay McAlister

It’s clear, however, that many people who appear to survive COVID are not able to fully put the illness behind them, he added.

“Looking at readmissions is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s some data from the [World Health Organization] that maybe half to two-thirds of individuals who have had COVID severe enough to be hospitalized end up with lung problems or heart problems afterwards, if you do detailed enough testing,” he said.

“If you give patients quality of life scores and symptom questionnaires, they’re reporting much more levels of disability than we’re picking up in analyses of hospitalizations or emergency room visits.”

The research period pre-dates the Omicron surge that appeared in late 2021 but McAlister said there’s no reason to suspect much difference among today’s patients.

He said that while Omicron outcomes have been shown to be less severe than the Delta variant, they are comparable to the wild type of the novel coronavirus that started the pandemic.

“If you’re unvaccinated and you catch Omicron it’s still not a walk in the park,” he said.

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