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One new confirmed case of COVID-19 in Huron County care home, but virus still on downward trend – The Beacon Herald

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The Huron Perth region has recorded its first new, confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past two and half weeks — a resident at Maitland Manor in Goderich.

Andrew Williams (left), president and CEO of the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, and Dr. Miriam Klassen, Huron Perth Medical Officer of Health, announced the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Huron and Perth region on March 14. (Cory Smith/Stratford Beacon Herald)

Huron Perth public health confirmed the region’s first new case of COVID-19 in two and half weeks – bringing the Huron Perth total up to 50 – but its medical officer of health says new cases are expected as testing capacity across the province grows.

During a regular call with media Thursday afternoon, Dr. Miriam Klassen said a resident at Maitland Manor in Goderich tested positive for the virus, prompting the declaration of an outbreak on May 20, the same day the outbreak at Exteter Villa in South Huron was declared over.

Previous outbreaks at long-term care homes in North Huron, Bluewater, Huron East, Perth East and Stratford were all declared over prior to May 20, leaving Maitland Manor as the only home currently in outbreak in Huron Perth.

“This case was not discovered through our one-time surveillance testing. Instead ,this resident had symptoms,” Klassen said. “The case has been isolated and is in stable condition at this time.

Huron Perth public health is working with the facility to identify close contacts that require testing. No other symptomatic residents or staff have been identified at this time. … As part of our investigation, we will be looking for where the virus was introduced, and so far there is no clear connection to another known case or a high-risk exposure, so we don’t know how it was introduced.”

While Klassen said this new case is a reminder the virus is still out there and people need to continue following the province’s public-health measures, she said it is not an indication the virus’s downward trend in both Huron Perth and across the province has changed.

In fact, Klassen said increased testing of people with only mild symptoms across Ontario may result in additional confirmed positives in the region.

“The testing capacity in Ontario has increased, and as a result we can test for ambulatory, symptomatic people, so it’s no longer just priority populations. … Now we’re able to test anyone, even with mild symptoms, so I would expect that we will see more cases,” Klassen said.

Klassen also mentioned Canada’s chief public health officer’s recent recommendation that Canadians should wear face coverings or masks as an added precaution if they expect to be in situations, such as riding the bus or shopping at the grocery store, where physical distancing may not always be possible.

While masks should not be worn in lieu of physical distancing, Klassen said they can be helpful in preventing the virus from spreading in potentially close quarters when.combined with other public-health measures.

“As places start to reopen, I ask that everyone be patient and considerate as businesses and public locations put measures in place to keep everyone safe,” Klassen said. “We know that things are operating differently and it may take a little longer. … For the most part, people have been understanding the advice and the reason for it, and have tried to be compliant to the best of their abilities.”

gsimmons@postmedia.com


COVID-19 testing and positive cases in Huron Perth

  • As of May 21, 2,567 residents have been tested, 2,445 of those tests have come back negative, 72 are pending, and 50 people have tested positive.
  • Five people have died – four residents of Greenwood Court in Stratford and a grocer in St. Marys;
  • 44 people have recovered;
  • Ten cases are in Perth County (three in North Perth, three in Perth East, two in West Perth and two in Perth South), 25 are in Stratford, two in St. Marys, and 13 from across Huron County;
  • There have been 23 cases in the region’s long-term care homes – six residents and 10 staff at Greenwood Court in Stratford, one resident at Hillside Manor near Sebringville, one resident at Bluewater Rest Home near Zurich, one staff member at Huronview in Clinton, two staff members at Braemar Retirement Centre in Wingham, one staff member at Exeter Villa in South Huron, and one resident at Maitland Manor in Goderich;
  • All outbreaks in the region’s long-term care homes have been declared over, except for the outbreak at Maitland Manor;
  • Of the 50 confirmed cases, one is under the age of 20, four are in their 20s, six in their 30s, four in their 40s, 10 are in their 50s, 15 in their 60s, three in their 70s, and seven are 80 and older; and
  • 35 are women and 15 are men.

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UPDATE: No new cases in Guelph, Wellington County for second straight day – GuelphToday

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For the second consecutive day there have been no new COVID-19 cases confirmed by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health in Guelph and Wellington County.

The numbers of cases and the number of those resolved cases remained the same.

Guelph (cases/deaths): 150/9

Wellington County (cases/deaths): 70/2

Guelph resolved: 111

Wellington County resolved: 48

Hospitalized: 7

Intensive care unit: 2

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'No benefit' from hydroxychloroquine for virus: U.K. trial – CTV News

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A major British clinical trial has found hydroxychloroquine has “no benefit” for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, scientists said Friday, in the first large-scale study to provide results for a drug at the centre of political and scientific controversy.

Hydroxychloroquine, a decades-old malaria and rheumatoid arthritis drug, has been touted as a possible treatment for the new coronavirus by high profile figures, including U.S. President Donald Trump, and has been included in several randomised clinical trials.

The University of Oxford’s Recovery trial, the biggest of these so far to come forward with findings, said that it would now stop recruiting patients to be given hydroxychloroquine “with immediate effect”. 

“Our conclusion is that this treatment does not reduce the risk of dying from COVID among hospital patients and that clearly has a significant importance for the way patients are treated, not only in the UK, but all around the world,” said Martin Landray, an Oxford professor of medicine and epidemiology who co-leads the study. 

The randomised clinical trial — considered the gold standard for clinical investigation — has recruited a total of 11,000 patients from 175 hospitals in the UK to test a range of potential treatments. 

Other drugs continuing to be tested include: the combination of HIV antivirals Lopinavir and Ritonavir; a low dose of the steroid Dexamethasone, typically used to reduce inflammation; antibiotic Azithromycin; and the anti inflammatory drug Tocilizumab.

Researchers are also testing convalescent plasma from the blood of people who have recovered from COVID-19, which contains antibodies to fight the virus.

Researchers said 1,542 patients were randomly assigned to hydroxychloroquine and compared with 3,132 patients given standard hospital care alone. 

They found “no significant difference” in mortality after 28 days between the two groups, and no evidence that treatment with the drug shortens the amount of time spent in hospital.

“This is a really important result, at last providing unequivocal evidence that hydroxychloroquine is of no value in treatment of patients hospitalised with COVID-19,” said Peter Openshaw, a professor at Imperial College London, in reaction to the results.

He added that the drug was “quite toxic” so halting the trials would be of benefit to patients.  

Hydroxychloroquine has been in use for years but it has a number of potentially serious side effects, including heart arrhythmia. 

‘IT DOESN’T WORK’

Researchers from the Recovery trial said they would share their data with the World Health Organization (WHO), which on Wednesday restarted its own trials of hydroxychloroquine.

They were temporarily halted last month because of a now-retracted observational study in The Lancet medical journal that had suggested hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related compound, were ineffective against COVID-19 and even increased the risk of death.

Authors of the Lancet research said on Thursday that they could no longer vouch for the integrity of its underlying data, in the face of serious concerns raised by fellow scientists over a lack of clarity about the countries and hospitals that contributed patient information.   

The scandal cast a shadow over The Lancet and another top medical journal, but it did nothing to clear up the increasingly politicised question of whether or not hydroxychloroquine works as a treatment for COVID-19. 

Openshaw said the Recovery trial should be credited with continuing the research until they could reach a definitive conclusion on hydroxychloroquine. 

“Everyone regrets that it doesn’t work, but knowing that allows us to focus on finding drugs that actually help recovery from COVID-19,” he added. 

Oxford professor Peter Horby, the lead investigator on the Recovery Trial, said there was probably a “very large number” of people around the world taking hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, with countries including the U.S., China and Brazil authorising it. 

A separate clinical trial on Wednesday in the U.S. and Canada found that taking hydroxychloroquine shortly after being exposed to COVID-19 does not work to prevent infection significantly better than a placebo.

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City asking people to wear masks on buses, but not mandatory – GuelphToday

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As the city prepares to allow more riders on Guelph Transit buses, it is asking riders to wear a non-medical mask or face covering.

They are not mandatory.

Free 30-minute Guelph Transit service will continue for the rest of June but the city says thta with more businesses reopening and more people heading back to work, Guelph Transit is preparing to resume fare collection and regular schedules later in the summer.

In a news release Friday morning, the city said the request is based advice from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

“According to health officials, wearing a homemade face covering/non-medical mask is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing. Wearing a mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it, but it can help protect others around you,” the release said.

“As the buses get busy again, physical distancing may not always be possible. We’re asking riders to wear a non-medical mask or face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” says Robin Gerus, general manager of Guelph Transit.

Guelph Transit is encouraging face coverings, not requiring them.

“It’s becoming more common to wear a mask on public transit in other cities, but it’s new for Guelph. Some riders may not be aware of or understand the latest guidelines from health officials. Some may not have resources to purchase or make a mask, or they may have a medical reason for not wearing one,” added Gerus. Everyone is welcome to use Guelph Transit, and we’re asking people to protect and respect each other as ridership increases.”

Since March, Guelph Transit made the following adjustments to slow the spread of COVID-19:

  • free 30-minute service allows passengers to avoid using the farebox and board from the rear door
  • plastic barrier between the driver and passengers
  • hand sanitizing stations and cleaning supplies for drivers
  • no more than 10 people per bus
  • blocked several seats to encourage physical distancing between passengers

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the City and Guelph Transit encourage riders to continue following the latest advice from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health:

  • wash your hands regularly or use hand sanitizer
  • stay at least two metres away from people you don’t live with
  • when you can’t maintain physical distancing, wear a non-medical mask or face covering

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