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Outbreak tied to COVID-19 cases at SPINCO ‘unfortunate’: Hamilton’s medical officer of health – Global News



Hamilton’s medical officer of health is characterizing a COVID-19 outbreak at a downtown gym as an “unfortunate case.”

An investigation has determined that SPINCO’s Downtown Hamilton location, which has been connected to 61 coronavirus cases, was following public health guidelines, according to Dr. Elizabeth Richardson.

In the city’s emergency operations centre update on Tuesday, Richardson said a review determined the outlet had been operating at 50 per cent capacity in keeping with provincial guidelines amid the pandemic which included customer screening, sanitation, and a two-metre radius around each bike.

“When we talked to them about what they were doing beforehand they had removed 50 percent of the bikes so that people were further apart, they had made sure they were laundering towels. They had done all sorts of things to try and reduce the potential for spread,” Richardson said.

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Nearly 50 coronavirus cases linked to outbreak at Hamilton spin studio

The city’s MOH says gyms are simply high-risk places since people generally don’t wear masks, breathe at a higher rate during physical activity, and tend to be boisterous due to loud music.

Richardson says public health is not sure how many people have been potentially affected by the outbreak but said it appears to be about 100 or so.

There were several particular classes that happened over a few day period that we were looking at as might have been the classes where people may have become infected,” Richardson said.

“There’ve been 17 more cases that are what we call secondary cases that have happened outside of this SPINCO membership group, where there’s been transmission to others.”

On the weekend, the owners of the studio admitted to being “hesitant” to open when they got a green light from the province in July to open.

“We took all the measures public health offered, even added a few, and still the pandemic struck us again!” the gym said in a post on Instagram.

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SPINCO says it was open for three and a half months after a provincial lockdown before being hit by the outbreak and says it will reopen once given clearance from public health.

“So while we wait and remain closed, you have our commitment, that we will not re-open until It is safe to do so, we need to show our city and the rest of our province that the SPINCO community is not going anywhere,” the gym said.

During his regular COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, premier Doug Ford was non-committal in regards to tightening restrictions on gyms in light of the SPINCO outbreak.

“Well, right now I’ll take the direction from Dr. Williams and see what the health team and the chief medical officer of the Hamilton region have to say,” Ford said. “Then we’ll make a decision from there.”

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Hamilton reports 12 new COVID-19 cases

Hamilton public health reported 12 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, pushing the city’s total number of confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 1,407.

Officials say 42.1 per cent (91) of the city’s 216 new coronavirus cases in the last 10 days have been among people under the age of 30.

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Hamilton has 195 active cases as of Oct. 13.

The city has only three outbreaks with 44 cases recorded at downtown gym SPINCO, which has seen the virus spread among 42 people with ties to the gym’s customers and cases in two staff members.

There are also outbreaks at Salvation Army Lawson Ministries on Main Street East and Dundurn Place Care Centre in Downtown.

Halton Region reports 30 new COVID-19 cases

Public Health Halton reported 30 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with Burlington reporting 13 new cases and Oakville reporting 11.

The region has had 1,640 cases since the pandemic began. Public health says there are 212 active cases as of Oct. 13. Burlington has 95 active cases and a total of 425 coronavirus cases since March.

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The region has a total of four outbreaks at two long-term care homes (Creek Way Village and Cama Woodlands in Burlington) and two retirement homes (Chartwell Waterford in Oakville and Village of Tansley Woods in Burlington).

The outbreak at Tansley Woods has 22 total cases in 14 residents, six staff members and 2 other people connected to the home. Two people have died in the latest outbreak at the home.

Public Health Halton says 48.7 per cent (151) of its 310 cases in the last 10 days were among residents under the age of 39. Burlington accounts for 136 of those cases with 52 (38.2 per cent) under the age of 39.

Niagara Region reports one new COVID-19 case

Niagara public health reported one COVID-19 case on Tuesday, bringing the region’s total number of cases to 1,214 since the pandemic began.

There are currently 99 active cases as of Oct. 13.

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The region has five outbreaks connected to the coronavirus, which includes four retirement homes (Pioneer Elder Care in St. Catharines, Shalom Gardens in Grimsby, and The Meadows of Dorchester and Lundy Manor in Niagara Falls) and one nursing home (Millennium Trail Manor in Niagara Falls).

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Since the pandemic was declared, 42.2 per cent (512) of the region’s 1,214 cases have occurred in people under the age of 39.

Haldimand-Norfolk reports two new COVID-19 cases

The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit (HNHU) reported two new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The region has an overall total of 500 lab-confirmed positive cases.

Officials say there are eight active cases as of Oct. 13.

Public health says 33.4 per cent (167) of all cases in the region involve people between the ages of 20 and 39.

The HNHU announced a new outbreak on the weekend tied to two staff members at the Caressant Care long term care home in Courtland.

Brant County reports one new COVID-19 case

Brant County’s health unit reported one new COVID-19 case on Tuesday. The region has a total of 206 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

There are nine active cases as of Oct. 13.

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Public health says 36.89 per cent (76) of all cases in the county involve people between the ages of 20 and 39.

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The region has no institutional outbreaks at long-term care or retirement homes.

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

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Kamloops clinic hosts flu vaccination drive-thru | Kamloops News | iNFOnews – iNFOnews



The Orchards Walk Medical Clinic, run by STEPS, has opened a drive-thru flu shot clinic.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / RIH Foundation

October 29, 2020 – 2:18 PM

A Kamloops clinic is offering drive-thru flu vaccinations so that patients can stay in their cars, and stay safe.

The drive-thru is hosted at Orchards Walk Medical Clinic, run by the Supporting Team Excellence with Patients Society, according to a release.

In addition to the permanent team at the clinic, nursing students from Thompson Rivers University are also helping out with vaccinations for the 8,000 plus patients at the clinic.  

“We had read about the success of drive-thru vaccination clinics in Australia and decided to try it out here in Kamloops,” society spokesperson Christine Matuschewski said in a release.

“Although the weather has been unseasonably cold, we were still able to process a significant number of patients over the multiple flu shot clinics we are running.”

The lessons learned from this drive-thru clinic will be shared with other organizations looking to do flu shot clinics, and applied in the future once a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won’t censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2020


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Another record-breaking day for COVID-19 in Manitoba with 193 new cases, 97 hospitalizations –



The COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba continued its upward climb with another record-breaking day on Thursday. The province set new records for the number of new cases and people in hospital with the virus, with 193 new cases and 97 hospitalizations announced Thursday.

This is the second time in three days the province has set a new record for the most cases in a single day.

The province also announced another death, a man in his 80s from the Southern Health region. This brings the total number of deaths to due to COVID-19 to 62.

The number of hospital patients with COVID-19 in intensive care dropped slightly to 17, down from the record high of 19 set on Wednesday.

Manitoba also broke a new record for its five-day test-positivity rate — a rolling average of the number of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — which climbed to 7.8 per cent, up from the previous high of 7.5 per cent set just two days ago.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate set a new record on Oct. 29, 2020 at 7.8 per cent. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Restrictions having little effect

These new records continue the upward trajectory of the pandemic in Manitoba, one day after Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin acknowledged that health orders meant to curve the growth of new cases, particularly in Winnipeg, haven’t had the desired effect, one month after the city moved to the restricted orange level on the province’s pandemic response system.

New restrictions were imposed on Oct. 19 in the Winnipeg metropolitan region, with gathering limits further reduced from 10 to five people and stand-alone bars and nightclubs ordered to close, to little noticeable effect.

“We’re not seeing the the results that we expected with the restrictions,” Roussin said at a news conference Wednesday.

He noted that public health officials continue to see too many cases with large numbers of contacts and people going out while feeling ill. Many recent cases have been linked to Thanksgiving gatherings, Roussin said.

Although he did not announce any new health orders, Roussin has said he may have to if the health care system continues to come under strain and if numbers continue their rapid rise.

In recent days, Roussin has begun urging Manitobans not to socialize with people outside their households. 

On Wednesday, Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa said that if hospitals in Winnipeg reached capacity patients will be moved between wards and hospitals — and could even be moved to Brandon, Man., as needed.

The number of people with COVID-19 in hospital reached new heights on Oct. 29, 2020 with 97 hospitalizations. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

Hospitals have begun cancelling surgeries due to staff shortages, some of whom are self-isolating because of exposure to the virus, as well as changes to the rule around use of personal protective equipment. 

In one instance, an entire surgical team was forced to isolate because a patient, who later tested positive, did not disclose that they were a close contact of a known case.

There are currently 37 active cases of COVID-19 among health-care workers in Manitoba, with 32 in Winnipeg.

Outbreaks in school, health centre, seniors centre

An outbreak has also been declared at Collège Louis Riel, where students have been sent home Wednesday after four new cases were confirmed at the school.

The number of confirmed cases at the school has now risen to seven and 10 cohorts are self-isolating, as well as other staff and students, the provincal government said in a news release.

All students have switched to remote learning and the school has moved to the restricted orange level on the province’s pandemic response system, while health officials are investigating the sources of infection.

Manitoba reported 193 new COVID-19 cases on Oct. 29, setting a new record for the most new cases announced in a single day. (Bryce Hoye/CBC)

An outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital has grown to 36 people, three more than on Wednesday, with 25 patients and 11 staff members infected. The outbreak has been linked to three deaths.

Meanwhile, an outbreak at Victoria General Hospital has increased by nine cases, with 28 patients and 21 staff members infected. One person linked to that outbreak died after being transferred to St. Boniface Hospital.

Health officials also declared outbreaks at the Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach and the the KeKiNan Centre Inc. assisted living facility in Winnipeg. 

A total of 16 personal care homes in Manitoba have active COVID-19 outbreaks, with 247 cases and 27 deaths.

Parkview Place in Winnipeg, site of the deadliest outbreak in a Manitoba care home, had 126 cases among staff and residents, with 19 deaths, as of Tuesday, according to provincial data.

At the Maples Personal Care Home in Winnipeg, the second-largest care home outbreak in the province, 76 residents and staff have tested positive, although none have died as of Thursday afternoon.

The bulk of the new cases are in the Winnipeg Health region at 139. The Interlake-Eastern Health region has 21 new cases, 19 in the Southern Health region, 10 in the Northern Health region, and four in Prairie Mountain Health region.

The province plans to open a new drive-thru testing site near CF Polo Park at Manitoba Public Insurance building at 125 King Edward St. on Oct. 31. It will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

On Wednesday, labs completed a total of 3,375 COVID-19 tests. 

More possible exposures

Manitoba health officials warned of more possible COVID-19 exposures on Thursday:


  • Oct. 12 to 16, 19 and 20: Kidz Korner Infant Childcare Inc. (3708 Roblin Blvd.).
  • Oct. 13: Busy Bee Day Care Centre Inc. (646 – 648 McGee St.). This possible exposure was previously announced, now a case has been confirmed.
  • Oct. 14 and 15: Linwood School.
  • Oct. 16: Elmwood High School.
  • Oct. 18: Marks Work Warehouse (1580 Regent Ave W).
  • Oct. 19 and 20: Miles Macdonell Collegiate.
  • Oct. 20 and 21:
    • École Garden Grove.
    • General Wolfe School (661 Banning St.).
    • Winnipeg Transit Route #15, from Kennedy Street to Sargent Avenue, 8:25 a.m. to 8:40 a.m., and from Sargent Avenut to Kennedy Street, 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Oct. 28: Collége Louis-Riel.

The Pas

  • Oct. 16 and 20: Margaret Barbour Collegiate 
  • Oct. 20: New Avenue Hotel Bar (404 Fischer Ave.)
  • Oct. 19 and 20: Opasquia Elementary School

Ile des Chênes

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Disease experts raising alarm about Manitoba’s growing COVID-19 crisis – Global News



As Manitoba’s COVID-19 case count continues to rise — including another record-setting day Thursday — infectious disease experts are raising alarm bells over the province’s growing coronavirus threat.

Dr. Jason Kindrachuk of the University of Manitoba’s department of medical microbiology said the situation is dire.

“I don’t think there’s any way that we can sugarcoat it or walk around those terms,” he said.

“The overall positivity rate in Manitoba is on par with what they’re seeing nationally in the U.S., and in the past, we’ve looked at the U.S. as being kind of an out-of-control situation.

“This situation is not just going to take care of itself.”

Kindrachuk said Manitoba has moved past the point of personal responsibility, as the virus is starting to have a big impact on health-care centres — as well as health-care workers — across the province, but especially in Winnipeg.

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“I think there need to be some tougher restrictions,” he said.

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“We need help and we need it quick.”

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Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr had similar thoughts Wednesday.

Carr said she’s not encouraged that the province is starting to round the corner on the disease.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing significant community-based spread still. I’m still looking at the seven-day averages of new cases going up all across Manitoba — we’ve had 2,200 new cases just since Thanksgiving weekend.

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“We’re still in a challenging situation, but we can turn this around.”

Carr said she hopes, for the sake of the province’s economic and social well-being, that we’re not headed toward another shutdown, but “nothing is off the table.”

“When you take that party to your home, just because the bar or restaurant is closed, you’re sabotaging you, your friends, your family, and those businesses that are following the rules and staying closed.”

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

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