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Ontario researchers seek 50,000 participants to study impact of COVID-19 on the brain –



Researchers are hoping to find answers for health-care professionals and improve care for patients with COVID-19 worldwide by focusing on the impact of the disease, caused by the novel coronavirus, on the brain.

Adrian Owen, a cognitive neuroscience and imaging professor at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, and Dr. Rick Swartz, a stroke neurologist and cognitive scientist from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the University of Toronto, are leading the study, which is currently seeking about 50,000 volunteers who received a confirmed positive diagnosis of the virus for what’s expected to be a one-year study available in English, French and Spanish.

According to the study’s website, there is “emerging evidence” suggesting COVID-19 can increase the risk of strokes in some cases and the disease has also “resulted in an unprecedented spike in intensive care unit admissions.” Previous research out of his own lab published in 2019 suggests that “nearly all patients are cognitively impaired at the time of ICU discharge” and that roughly half “have cognitive impairment years later.”

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“As the number of recovered COVID-19 patients continues to climb, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that getting sent home from the ICU is not the end for these people. It’s just the beginning of their recovery.”


While over $1-billion has been allocated to fund COVID-19-related research projects in Canada since March, including vaccine development, researchers say “little work has been done on the potential neurological effects and longer-term impacts of the disease.”

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“The problem is a bit like when governments were deciding to enter lockdown — timing is everything,” said Owen.

“We need to start collecting this data now. We can’t start looking at this issue in a year’s time because if there are cognitive impairments, and we know there will be, it’s going to be too late.”

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The study will see participants complete a survey and games to test cognitive function at the start of the study, three months later, and then a year from the start of the study.

The team is hoping to answer a lot of questions: “Does (COVID-19) result in cognitive impairment? Is the burden different for those requiring hospitalization compared to those who can stay home? Are there age, sex, and medical risk factors that predict the virus’s effects on the brain?”

“We also need to understand whether COVID-19 patients are getting better or worse over time,” added Swartz.

“And is it only some patients? For example, is it only those who were ventilated or sedated?”

Researchers are looking for participants who are 18 years of age or older; can read and write in English, Spanish, or French; are able to use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and connect to the internet, and have been given a confirmed positive diagnosis of COVID-19 by local health authorities.

Trudeau announces nearly $500 million additional annual funding for scientific research program

Trudeau announces nearly $500 million additional annual funding for scientific research program

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Tuesday, July 7 –



The latest:

  • Alberta reported 47 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 620.
  • Two men in their 70s have died, both linked to an outbreak at Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital, which has close its doors to most new patients
  • The NHL and NHL Players’ Association agreed Sunday on protocols to resume the season, a major step toward the return of hockey this summer. It’s expected some of the games will be played in Edmonton.
  • A program providing free non-medical masks to Albertans at drive-thru restaurants will resume next Monday.
  • The City of Edmonton won’t make masks mandatory, as it would need new bylaw to do so.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

An Alberta physician is one of 239 scientists in 32 countries who signed an open letter calling on the World Health Organization to recognize airborne transmission as a possibility with the coronavirus.

But B.C.’s provincial health officer says the controversy over airborne transmission of COVID-19 has been overblown.

A growing outbreak of COVID-19 has forced Edmonton’s Misericordia Community Hospital to close its doors to most new patients and institute a series of “aggressive” pandemic protocols in bid to slow the spread of the virus. 

Alberta farms are feeling the pinch of seasonal worker delays caused by the pandemic.

A provincial program giving non-medical masks to Albertans at fast food drive-thrus is set to resume on July 13. The masks are free.

(CBC News)

The province reported 47 new cases on Tuesday. A total of 7,659 people have recovered, 54 are in hospital and of those six are in intensive care. A total of 157 people have died.

Here’s the breakdown of active cases across the province:

  • Edmonton zone: 243.
  • Calgary zone: 230.
  • South zone: 86.
  • North zone: 51.
  • Central zone: 4.
  • Unknown: 6.

(CBC News)

What you need to know today in Canada:

Residents of eastern Ontario, including the City of Ottawa, are required to wear non-medical masks in indoor public places to prevent the spread of COVID-19 starting today.

Prince Edward Island reported no new cases of COVID-19 Monday, but close contacts of the five cases announced on the weekend are being monitored closely. The cases appear to have originated with a man now in Nova Scotia who had recently been in the United States.

As of 5:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Canada had 105,935 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 69,570 of the cases as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 8,738. 

Self-assessment and supports:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms. 

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

You can find Alberta Health Services’ latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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N.W.T. ends state of emergency for 1st time during COVID-19 pandemic



The Northwest Territories government has decided it will no longer extend its state of emergency for the first time since COVID-19 emergency measures were enacted in the territory.

The territory has been under a state of emergency — one of its two emergency public health measures — due to the pandemic since March. The state of emergency gave the government extraordinary powers, including the power to enter premises without a warrant; procure food, fuel, and medical supplies; and fix prices on essential goods.

“The public was wonderful, the stores, the supply chains … they were all wonderful and we never had to enact it or utilize it,” Premier Caroline Cochrane said Tuesday.

“So if we’re not utilizing it, it makes sense now that we’re in phase two that we don’t carry that forward any longer.”

The government added that it will continue to review the situation, and if needed — like if there’s a second wave of COVID-19 and evidence of community spread — it’s prepared to bring back the state of emergency, but would be cautious about doing so.

The territory has been free of known COVID-19 cases for roughly three months but Cochrane said it took this long to lift the state of emergency because “often best decisions aren’t made quickly.”

“I know that the public is saying ‘we have no cases, we haven’t had any cases’, but watch the news,” she said, noting a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in some U.S. states.

“We have to be very careful. It’s still going on huge in the southern jurisdictions and we don’t have the healthcare capacity to deal with a huge outbreak.”

Cochrane acknowledged concerns from people who may feel their civil liberties are being limited by the state of emergency. That’s why with the last order, she says, the government allowed people to come to the territory if they were working, looking for work, reuniting with family or obtained a special government exemption.

Public health emergency extended

Meanwhile, Health Minister Diane Thom has extended the territory’s public health emergency on the recommendation of the chief public health officer, according to a news release.

The public health emergency gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders.

The release states that to this point, the territory has been “successful at managing the risk of COVID-19 using the tools available under the Public Health Act,” and so it has not had to draw on resources under the Emergency Management Act that a state of emergency would allow for.

Back in June, the territorial government extended both of its territory-wide emergency declarations for the seventh time. Both were set to expire on Wednesday.

Government spokesperson Mike Westwick said the public health emergency will expire on July 21.

The news release also reminded residents that everyone entering the N.W.T. is still required to self-isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River or Fort Smith, “with few exceptions.”

“The [N.W.T. government] will continue to review its actions and arrangements for responding to the pandemic to ensure they remain effective and are aligned with the current circumstances,” the release states.

Soucre:N.W.T. ends state of emergency

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June 27th Miracle Collects Over Two Million Pounds Of Food – windsoriteDOTca News



The June 27th Miracle food drive is being called a huge success.

Organizers have finished calculating a rough estimate of 2,020,500 lbs of food.

Right now these pallets are spanned across multiple sites including the WFCU Arena (Windsor), Westport Marina (Lasalle), Atlas Tube Centre (Lakeshore), Tecumseh Arena, Libro Centre and (Amherstburg) and in the process of being sorted and distributed to food banks.

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June Muir, President and CEO of the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association and the Unemployed Help Centre is thrilled with what the June 27th Miracle did for the community. “I want to make sure everyone knows what they did on June 27th is going to help our community in Windsor and Essex County” Muir says.  “Without that help we don’t know what we’d do because some of our fundraisers aren’t going to happen this year, so what’s happened truly is a miracle.”

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