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Ontario reports 164 new cases of COVID-19 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario reported 164 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths in the past 24 hours, keeping numbers well above the average of the past several weeks, driven in part by renewed case growth in Windsor-Essex and the GTA.

Ontario reported 166 cases on Saturday and 111 on Friday.

The province had been reporting less than 150 new cases per day on average for the past several weeks.

“Locally, 28 of Ontario’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 15 of them reporting no new cases at all. 37 of today’s cases are from Windsor-Essex with 48 from the Peel Region,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

She said provincial labs turned around 27,000 test specimens in the past 24 hours, generating a positivity rate of about 0.6 per cent.

Eighteen thousand specimens remained under investigation on Sunday.

New case growth outstripped recoveries by 48 cases, meaning there are now 1,446 remaining active cases in the province.

Ontario has now had 37,604 lab-confirmed cases of the virus and 2,751 deaths since the outbreak reached the province in late January.

Toronto reported 25 new cases, York Region reported six cases, Ottawa reported 16 cases and Niagara reported 9 new cases.

Hospital occupancy due to the virus continues to slowly decline.

There were 101 patients being treated for COVID-19 symptoms across Ontario on Sunday.

Of those, 34 were in intensive care.

Twenty-three people were breathing with the help of a ventilator.

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COVID-19 vaccine for B.C. expected to roll out in 1st week of January, provincial health officer says – CBC.ca

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If everything goes according to plan, everyone in B.C. who wants the COVID-19 vaccine will be immunized by next September, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

The provincial health officer explained that a more detailed plan for vaccine rollout will be available early next week, but the first shots should be available early in the new year.

“We’re going to make sure we are absolutely ready by then,” Henry said. “We are planning to be able to put vaccine into arms in the first week of January.”

She expects that two vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna will begin arriving in B.C. early in the new year but only about six million doses will be available across Canada.

“That’s not enough for everybody,” Henry said.

The first priority will likely be to immunize the most vulnerable populations, including residents of long-term care homes, as well as health-care workers.

Two other vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Janssen are anticipated in the second quarter of 2021.

“By the time we get into April of 2021, we’re expecting increased numbers of all the vaccines to be available and that’s when we can start offering it to more people across British Columbia,” Henry said.

It won’t be possible to reach everyone at once, so there will have to be a strategy for sequencing who receives it.

“As long as the vaccine continues to come in, as long as the safety and the effectiveness is good … we hope to have everybody done by September of next year,” Henry said.

She has repeatedly said the vaccine will not be mandatory.

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Dr. Henry explains why she banned both indoor and outdoor team sports | Offside – Daily Hive

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A day after hinting that new restrictions would be coming for indoor team sports for adults, today the province announced that both indoor and outdoor team sports are now suspended for adults in BC.

While outdoor activities are typically safer than those happening indoors, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry clarified why sweeping restrictions have been put in place.

“What we have found… is that a number of these adult team sports are really very much social gatherings, as well as sport,” said Dr. Henry. “And unfortunately, those types of gatherings are leading to transmission events that are happening.”

It seems that the problem with beer league hockey is the beer, more than the hockey.

“It’s the locker room. It’s the before, it’s the after,” she said. “It’s the going for a coffee or a beer after a game that has been the most source of transmission. Sometimes it’s very difficult, because much of that is built into the culture of many of the adult team sports.”

Henry told a “cautionary tale” about a hockey team from the interior of BC that travelled to Alberta and brought COVID-19 back to their community, infecting “dozens” of people, including family members and coworkers.

“I mentioned hockey yesterday. We’ve seen transmission events in curling, we’ve seen it with a number of adult team sports. Now’s our time, we need to step back from those, take that temptation, unfortunately, away, and make sure that we’re not giving those opportunities for the virus to take hold, and travel between the different communities as we have seen happen in the last few weeks, unfortunately.

“It was the advice of the team from around the province that this was an important thing that we felt we needed to do now. So that is an additional restriction.”

Dr. Henry said that supervised sports for children have not been the source for the same type of risk and transmission. That’s why kids sports have been allowed to continue for individual drills and training, while maintaining physical distance. But games, tournaments, and competitions have been temporarily suspended for youth sports.

“We recognize, of course, the importance for young people of having these opportunities to participate in sport, and how important it is,” said Dr. Henry, who added that she recognizes that sports are important for adults also.

Dr. Henry said that in the past few weeks and months, about 10-15% of cases have been related to physical and sport activities.

“That’s an underestimate,” she cautioned. “Those are [just] the ones that we know that we have linked.”

Among those cases, “very intense transmission” has been seen in things like spin classes, high-intensity interval training, and hot yoga. Post-game beverages haven’t been the main issue for these activities, but rather heavy breathing and poor ventilation has.

“These are areas where you have groups of people that are close together, very high breathing, high intensity, or lack of ventilation,” she said.

So what can we do to stay active?

Henry mentioned online classes from your local gym as an option. She also encouraged adults to stay active by going for a run or a walk, or playing sports like tennis, golf, and swimming.

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High-risk seniors to get COVID-19 vaccine first in B.C.: provincial health officer – Times Colonist

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VICTORIA — Seniors in British Columbia’s long-term care homes and hospitals will be the first to get immunized against COVID-19 starting in the first week of January with two vaccines, the province’s top doctor says.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday that vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna will be the first to be rolled out after approval by Health Canada.

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However, Henry said only about six million doses are expected to be available across Canada until March.

“So we won’t be able to broadly achieve what we call community immunity or herd immunity, but that will come,” she said

At least two other companies, including AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, are in the process of submitting data to Health Canada and regulatory agencies around the world in hopes of getting approval for their vaccines.

“Those ones we hope will be available sometime in the second quarter of 2021,” Henry said.

“We hope to have everybody done by September of next year,” she said of the province’s efforts through “Operation Immunize.”

“By the end of the year, anybody who wants vaccine in B.C. and in Canada should have it available to them and should be immunized.”

Henry said B.C. health officials worked with their federal counterparts Thursday on ways to facilitate the delivery of vaccines as they anticipated various challenges that could come up in the immunization process.

More details will be provided about the province’s vaccine plan next week, Henry said.

She reported 694 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, for a total of 35,422 infections in the province.

There have been 12 more deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in B.C. to 481.

Henry noted health-care workers are tired from the pandemic as everyone deals with an “anxiety-provoking time,” but that it’s important to stay “100 per cent committed” to getting through the next few months before vaccines are available.

“We know that our long-term care homes in particular are most vulnerable and we know right now it’s the biggest challenge that we are facing,” she said.

Henry has banned all indoor and outdoor sports teams for adults, saying a team in the province’s Interior recently tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Alberta.

“What we have seen in the past few weeks to months is that 10 to 15 per cent of cases have been related to physical fitness and sports activities,” she said, an estimate based on cases that have been linked.

Most transmissions of COVID-19 among adult involved in sports have been through social activities related to the gatherings, Henry said.

— By Camille Bains in Vancouver

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.

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