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Orillia hospital to temporarily lead Roberta Place nursing home in controlling COVID-19 outbreak – Global News

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has issued an order that will allow Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital to temporarily lead Barrie, Ont.’s Roberta Place long-term care home in controlling a COVID-19 outbreak that has left nine dead.

According to the local health unit, 63 residents and 53 staff members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Testing is also being done to determine if the COVID-19 U.K. variant played a part in the Roberta Place outbreak.

Read more:
More than 100 COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths reported at Barrie long-term care home

“This outbreak unfortunately has spread very rapidly and affected a large number of the residents and staff,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s medical officer of health.

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“The leadership of OSMH, together with a number of other agencies and organizations, is necessary to bring it under control.”

Moving forward, Orillia, Ont.’s hospital will temporarily provide leadership support to Roberta Place by working with other local organizations that have been helping to control the outbreak, including the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, County of Simcoe and Georgian College.

Read more:
Six-week vaccine pilot project to kick off Monday at Metro Toronto Convention Centre

These organizations have been helping to make sure that staffing, training, equipment and supplies are in place so that Roberta Place can continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“For the past week, we have had the support of a dedicated human resources team, who have worked diligently to secure the highest quality staff to offset possible gaps at our home,” Stephanie Barber, the community relations coordinator at Roberta Place, said in a statement Sunday.






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Coronavirus: Ontario projections show long-term care deaths could reach up to 2,600 deaths by Valentine’s Day


Coronavirus: Ontario projections show long-term care deaths could reach up to 2,600 deaths by Valentine’s Day

“Team members from many of our other long-term care homes, along with our regional operations team, have been deployed to further support the home.”

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The Canadian Red Cross has also been deployed to support Roberta Place in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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“The situation at Roberta Place is tragic and heartbreaking to all of us in Barrie,” local mayor Jeff Lehman said on Twitter Monday.

“Yesterday, in speaking with public health and others involved in the response, I know a major effort is underway to provide staff and support to Roberta Place.”

At this point, Lehman said the best thing people can do is “stop community spread” so it doesn’t reach long-term care.

The COVID-19 outbreak at Roberta Place was declared on Jan. 8. As of Monday, the local health unit says all residents and staff have been tested for the virus.

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According to the local health unit, 71 residents who weren’t sick and a number of other staff at Roberta Place received the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday through a mobile immunization unit.

Staff and essential caregivers at long-term care homes in Simcoe County and Muskoka have been receiving their COVID-19 vaccine doses at Barrie’s immunization clinic since it opened on Dec. 22, 2020.

Over the last several weeks, COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Simcoe Muskoka, with seniors age 80-plus having the highest infection rate.


Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Ontario to complete long-term care home vaccinations in high-risk zones in upcoming weeks'



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Coronavirus: Ontario to complete long-term care home vaccinations in high-risk zones in upcoming weeks


Coronavirus: Ontario to complete long-term care home vaccinations in high-risk zones in upcoming weeks

— With files from Global News’ Ryan Rocca

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B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday – Abbotsford News

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B.C.’s top officials are scheduled to unveil how the province’s mass vaccination plan will roll out at a press conference Monday (March 1).

Present at the press conference will be Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and and Dr. Penny Ballem, the executive lead of the B.C. immunization rollout team.

It will be the province’s first vaccination plan update since Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine last week, which could speed up immunization efforts due to its easier storage requirements. The newest two-dose shot can be stored and transported at fridge temperatures, not the ultra-cold storage required for Pfizer or the freezer storage required for Moderna.

Currently, all of B.C.’s long-term care residents and staff have been offered the shot during phase one, with 90 per cent of each group having gotten their first dose. About half of both groups have received their second dose.

According to the province’s current posted vaccination plan, seniors 80 years of age and older living in the community, Indigenous seniors 65 years and up, vulnerable populations in congregate living settings and health-care staff who haven’t yet received a vaccine are next on the list.

Those vaccinations are scheduled to be wrapped up by the end of March, with mass immunizations beginning in April. Those will start at age 79 and move downwards in five year increments. By June, all people 60 years of age and older, as well as younger people deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” are scheduled to have received at least their first dose. According to the province, front line essential workers aged 18 to 64 may get their shot in April, May or June if additional vaccines are available.

The last group, people between the ages of 18 and 59, are scheduled to get their vaccines between July and the end of September, with older individuals first in line.

As of Friday, B.C. has administered 252,373 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

READ MORE: Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine


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Canadian Press NewsAlert: B.C. to offer second dose of COVID vaccine after 4 months – WellandTribune.ca

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VICTORIA – British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months as it ramps up its age-based immunization plan to free up doses so all residents could get their initial shot by July.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday the change is based on the “miraculous” protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

She said the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is expected to issue a statement to align with B.C.’s decision, which is also based on similar data from Quebec and countries including Israel and the United Kingdom.

Starting Monday, health authorities will contact residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors’ supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff.

Seniors aged 90 and up can call a central number to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over.

People 80 and up will have a chance to book their time-slot on March 22. Those between 60 and 79 as well as people 16 and up who are medically vulnerable are expected to get their shots starting in mid-April by registering for an appointment online.

Henry said first responders and essential workers, including teachers, may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, with the first shipment expected to arrive in B.C. next week.

“We’ve had a number of places in communities around the province where we’ve had outbreaks. We can think about things like poultry workers (and) people who work in some of our mail distribution centres,” she said.

While people will be able to choose whether they want the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or wait their turn for the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, Henry said people should go with what is available first.

Premier John Horgan urged people to continue taking precautions — such as wearing masks, practising physical distancing and staying home when sick — aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 as vaccines become available.

“We have months to go and I want British Columbians to take the good news we’re hearing today with the joy that it deserves. But we need to remind ourselves not just today, but next week and next month, that we have a long way to go,” he said.

Some 275,681 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., of which 83,777 were second doses.

Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading the province’s vaccination plan, said about 400,000 morepeople are expected to be vaccinated by early April but that number could rise because 70,000 more first doses will be available by stretching out the time before second doses are administered.

Ballem said it’s important for people to call for an appointment only when it is their turn, or when the person they’re calling for is eligible for vaccination in order to prevent call centres from being overwhelmed as has happened in other jurisdictions.

Information that will be required includes a birth date, personal health number and a postal code to connect people to the right health authority, she said, adding that an online booking system will be operating by mid-April.

“That, in and of itself, is a major, major step forward in our vaccination program,” she said of the system that will also help track real-time vaccine effectiveness.

B.C. reported 1,428 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday to Monday, for a total of 80,672 cases in the province since the pandemic began.

There are 4,464 people with active cases in B.C., of whom 236 are hospitalized and 65 are in intensive care.

Forty-two new cases are variants of concern, for a total of 158 cases. The majority — 137 cases — are the strain first identified in the United Kingdom, while 21 are the variant first found in South Africa.

There have been eight new deaths linked to COVID-19, for a total of 1,363 fatalities connected to the virus in B.C.

The province reported four new health-care facility outbreaks at Glacier View Lodge, Chilliwack General Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

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Several outbreaks were also declared over, including one at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver.

— By Camille Bains in Vancouver

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

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Premier Horgan to present details of B.C.'s COVID-19 mass immunization plan – Alaska Highway News

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VICTORIA — British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months as it ramps up its age-based immunization plan to free up doses so all residents could get their initial shot by July.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday the change is based on the “miraculous” protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

article continues below

She said the National Advisory Committee on Immunization is expected to issue a statement to align with B.C.’s decision, which is also based on similar data from Quebec and countries including Israel and the United Kingdom.

Starting Monday, health authorities will contact residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors’ supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff.

Seniors aged 90 and up can call a central number to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over.

People 80 and up will have a chance to book their time-slot on March 22. Those between 60 and 79 as well as people 16 and up who are medically vulnerable are expected to get their shots starting in mid-April by registering for an appointment online.

Henry said first responders and essential workers, including teachers, may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, with the first shipment expected to arrive in B.C. next week.

“We’ve had a number of places in communities around the province where we’ve had outbreaks. We can think about things like poultry workers (and) people who work in some of our mail distribution centres,” she said.

While people will be able to choose whether they want the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or wait their turn for the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, Henry said people should go with what is available first.

Premier John Horgan urged people to continue taking precautions — such as wearing masks, practising physical distancing and staying home when sick — aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 as vaccines become available.

“We have months to go and I want British Columbians to take the good news we’re hearing today with the joy that it deserves. But we need to remind ourselves not just today, but next week and next month, that we have a long way to go,” he said.

Some 275,681 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., of which 83,777 were second doses.

Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading the province’s vaccination plan, said about 400,000 morepeople are expected to be vaccinated by early April but that number could rise because 70,000 more first doses will be available by stretching out the time before second doses are administered.

Ballem said it’s important for people to call for an appointment only when it is their turn, or when the person they’re calling for is eligible for vaccination in order to prevent call centres from being overwhelmed as has happened in other jurisdictions.

Information that will be required includes a birth date, personal health number and a postal code to connect people to the right health authority, she said, adding that an online booking system will be operating by mid-April.

“That, in and of itself, is a major, major step forward in our vaccination program,” she said of the system that will also help track real-time vaccine effectiveness.

B.C. reported 1,428 new COVID-19 cases from Saturday to Monday, for a total of 80,672 cases in the province since the pandemic began.

There are 4,464 people with active cases in B.C., of whom 236 are hospitalized and 65 are in intensive care.

Forty-two new cases are variants of concern, for a total of 158 cases. The majority — 137 cases — are the strain first identified in the United Kingdom, while 21 are the variant first found in South Africa.

There have been eight new deaths linked to COVID-19, for a total of 1,363 fatalities connected to the virus in B.C.

The province reported four new health-care facility outbreaks at Glacier View Lodge, Chilliwack General Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

Several outbreaks were also declared over, including one at St. Paul’s Hospital in downtown Vancouver.

— By Camille Bains in Vancouver

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

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