Prince Edward Island is reporting five new COVID-19 cases on the island Sunday, with the active total rising to 18.
In an unscheduled media conference on Sunday, P.E.I. Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said she is concerned about the fact that there does not appear to be a clear source of the recent outbreak.
Sunday’s five new cases involve two males in their 20s, and three females – two in their 20s, and one in her 50s.
Three are from the recent Charlottetown outbreak, one is linked to Summerside, and Public Health is still trying to determine the source for the last.
“I remain concerned about the increasing number of cases in P.E.I., and the fact that we have not been able to identify a link to travel,” she said. “There may be more cases that will be identified in the coming days. “
This comes as P.E.I. announced new measures Saturday, which took effect Sunday.
According to Morrison, there are 190 close contacts of these cases, and more are expected to be announced.
NEW LOCK DOWN MEASURES ANNOUNCED
Prince Edward Island is entering a 72-hour lockdown starting at midnight as the province struggles to contain the outbreak. These measures are a tighter version of the ‘circuit breaker’ regulations announced just Saturday.
Premier Dennis King says he’d rather go “harder and stronger” with public health restrictions now — giving health officials a chance to get caught up on contact tracing and testing — than wait for the outbreak to worsen.
“Yesterday we introduced some new circuit breaker measures,” King said. “I know it’s not what everyone wanted to hear, but it’s what is necessary to keep our province safe — and today, we have announced we’re going a little further.”
The three-day lockdown requires residents to stay home as much as possible and will close all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, with post-secondary education moving online only.
Only essential services will be allowed to remain open, at half of their standard operating capacity.
The other new measures are as follows:
- No personal gatherings will be allowed
- Each household can associate with two consistent people, for what Morrison called essential support
- People who live alone can associate with one other household
- No organized gatherings will be allowed
- Funerals can have no more than 10, plus officiants
- All recreational facilities are closed – including gyms, fitness facilities, bingo halls, casinos, musuems, and libraries
- No organized sports or recreational activities will be permitted
- Only essential services and businesses are allowed to be open to the public, and at 50 per cent of their standard capacity
- Examples of services allowed to stay open: medical and dental services, childcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, takeout and food delivery, utility services, manufacturing processing and transportation services, gas stations, banks and essential financial institutions, public safety services and liquor stores.
- For essential retail services, they can operate at half of standard operating capacity as long as entrances and exits monitored
In Sunday’s media conference, Premier Dennis King urged cooperation from employees and employers to allow for time off to get tested for COVID-19.
“Your absence at work may cause a minor disruption – I get that, but we are living in a period of distruption,” said King. “Missing a day or two at work while you have symptoms while you get tested is a heck of a lot less of a disruption than a circuit breaker.”
NEW POTENTIAL EXPOSURE SITES
Morrison also announced new public exposure sites. She said anyone who visited or worked at the following locations is asked to immediately self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test. After a negative test, Morrison said there is no need to keep isolating, but it’s important to monitor symptoms and seek a second test if any appear.
- Superstore in Montague, P.E.I.
- Feb. 24 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Tailgate Bar and Grill in Montague
- Feb. 25 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
- Domino’s Pizza in Summerside
- Feb. 15 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Burger King in Summerside
- Feb. 18 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Charlottetown city bus #1
- Feb. 20 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Taste of India in Charlottetown
- Feb. 22 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Feb. 25 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Feb. 26 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Superstore at 465 University Ave. in Charlottetown
- Feb. 23 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Feb. 24 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Jungle Market in Charlottetown
- Feb. 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Walmart in Charlottetown
- Feb. 24 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Feb. 27 2:00 to 2:30 p.m.
- Christmas Discounters in Summerside
- Feb. 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
These potential exposure sites are in addition to those announced Saturday, which are as follows:
- Pita Pit (425 Granville Street)
- Friday, February 19 between 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Sunday, February 21 between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 between 12:00 pm and 9:00 pm
- Tuesday, February 23 between 12:00 pm and 9:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 24 between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm
Friday, February 26 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Callbecks Home Hardware (614 Water Street)
- February 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 25 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm
- Burger King (511 Granville Street)
- Sunday, February 14 between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 17 between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm
- Thursday, February 18 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Saturday, February 20 between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm
- Sunday, February 21 between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 24 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Thursday, February 25 between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm
- Dominos Pizza (505 Granville Street)
- Wednesday, February 17 between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 between 4:00 pm and 11:00 pm
- Tuesday, February 23 between 4:00 pm and 1:00 am
- Wednesday, February 24 between 4:00 pm and 1:00 am
Late Saturday night, P.E.I. health announced more potential exposure sites. The same recomenddations apply to those who visited or worked at the following: immediately self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test.
- Dollarama in Summerside (454 Granville Street)
- Saturday, February 20 between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm
- Walmart/Burger King in Summerside (511 Granville Street)
- Saturday, February 20 between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm
- Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerside (454 Granville Street)
- Sunday, February 21 between 10:00 am and 11:00 am
- Superstore in Montague
- Wednesday, February 24 between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm
- Thursday, February 25 between 4:30 and 5:30 pm
- Tailgate Bar and Grill in Montague
- Thursday, February 25 between 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm
Morrison said she is expecting more positive cases to be announced in the coming days
COVID-19: Ottawa adult vaccinations at 69 per cent; Ontario reports 192 new cases – Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa Public Health reported Friday that 69 per cent of adults in the capital are fully vaccinated.
According to the OPH vaccination dashboard, updated Friday morning, 591,639 people aged 18 and over have the two shots.
In all, 83 per cent of the population 12 years and older has received one dose.
Seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa on Friday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 27,268.
The death toll remains unchanged at 593.
Ottawa Public Health knows of 41 active cases in the region. However, there are no COVID-19 patients in hospital.
In indicators of interest, the rolling seven-day average of cases per 100,000 residents is 3.9, while the populations per cent positivity in testing is 0.5.
The reproductive number, the average number of people that one infected person will pass on a virus to, is 1.28.
Latest COVID-19 news in Ottawa
Ontario reported 192 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one new death on Friday.
While it’s the second week the province’s numbers have been below 200, confirmed cases have climbed significantly from Monday, when 130 new cases were reported.
Currently, there are 137 people in hospital in Ontario, with 136 in ICU due to COVID-related illness and 84 on a ventilator. (Ontario Public Health statistics of ICU hospitalizations and ventilator cases contain some patients who no longer test positive for COVID-19 but who are being treated for conditions caused by the virus.)
There have been 548,986 confirmed cases and 9,308 deaths since the pandemic began.
In health regions in the Ottawa area, Renfrew and District reported three new cases. There were no new cases reported in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Kingston or Leeds, Grenville and Lanark units.
Latest COVID-19 news in Quebec
Quebec reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 and one more death Friday morning.
Hospitalizations in the province declined by four patients, for a total of 67. The number of cases in ICU were unchanged at 21.
The province administered 94,624 additional vaccine doses were administered over the previous 24 hours.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebec has reported 376,530 cases and 11,239 deaths linked to COVID-19.
Latest COVID-19 news in Canada
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam reported Friday that 46.7 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Canada, and more than 60 per cent of people over the age of 12 have been fully vaccinated.
Dutch Teen Who Went to Space With Jeff Bezos Told Him He’s Never Bought Anything on Amazon – Gizmodo
The award for “Best Small Talk on a Flight to Space” goes to Oliver Daemen, the 18-year-old from the Netherlands who was part of Blue Origin’s inaugural crewed flight to space earlier this week. On the roughly 10-minute flight, Daemon told Amazon founder Jeff Bezos what probably sounded like blasphemy to his billionaire ears: He had never bought anything on Amazon.
In an interview with Reuters on Friday, Daemen recounted his first flight to space, from when he got the call asking him if he was interested to the conversations he had with his crewmates, which included Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos, and 82-year-old pilot Wally Funk. Daemen, whose father is the CEO of a private equity firm in the Netherlands, became the youngest person to ever fly to space, while Funk became the oldest.
The teen also holds the distinction of surprising Bezos, whose Amazon empire has made him one of the richest men in the world.
“I told Jeff, like, I’ve actually never bought something from Amazon,” Daemen told Reuters. “And he was like, ‘oh, wow, it’s [been] a long time [since] I heard someone say that.’”
Considering that Bezos thanked “every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer” for making the flight possible after he and the crew returned to Earth, Daemen’s comments may have been a little awkward. However, it’s nice (and kind of funny) to hear that someone was frank with him. Bezos no doubt has enough people telling him that Amazon is God’s gift to humanity, so it’s cool to see one of the youths set him straight.
Daemen wasn’t originally supposed to go on the flight with Bezos and crew. He was offered the opportunity after the winner of the online auction for the seat, whose identity is still unknown and who paid a whopping $28 million for it, said they couldn’t go because of “scheduling conflicts.” Daemen, who was a participant in the auction and had already secured a spot on the second flight, was then moved up on the list. His father, Joes Daemen, paid for the seat.
According to Daemen, his family didn’t pay anything near what the mysterious bidder paid for the opportunity.
“We didn’t pay even close to $28 million, but they chose me because I was the youngest and I was also a pilot and I also knew quite a lot about it already,” he said.
The teen, who will begin his studies at Utrecht University in September, said he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do professionally, but would consider focusing on space travel. He also told the outlet that his fellow travelers were “super fun and all down to Earth.” Well, considering Daemen’s referring to a man that wants to stupidly move all polluting industry into space, I’m not sure I’m sold on that.
Congratulations on the award for that great small talk, though.
Several Ontario mass vaccination clinics wind down as focus shifts to smaller sites – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, July 23, 2021 1:37PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 23, 2021 1:37PM EDT
Several mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics across Ontario are winding down as first-dose registrations wane and communities shift their focus to smaller venues.
The large clinics held in local arenas, hospitals and recreation centres across the province have been a key part of the vaccine rollout that began in the winter.
Now that first-dose vaccination coverage has hovered at around 80 per cent for adults provincewide, many health units are beginning the transition to smaller, more targeted vaccination approaches.
“Our large-scale clinics are ending because they are no longer filling up,” the Northwestern Health Unit, which covers the city of Kenora, Ont., and surrounding communities, said in a statement this week as its mass clinics wrapped up operations. “Once they are over, we will provide the vaccine in our offices and at smaller clinics in the community.”
Grey Bruce, a current hot spot for the more infectious Delta COVID-19 variant, is also shutting down its mass clinics at the end of the month to return the large sites for community use.
The health unit is advising people with shots booked for August and beyond to reschedule, and is offering smaller clinics across the region that includes several rural areas.
People living in the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph region were urged this week to seek out their shots before the local health unit starts closing mass clinics the week of Aug. 6.
“I encourage people to take advantage of the thousands of available appointments at our clinics before we move to the next phase,” Rita Isley, director of community health for the region, said in a statement. “These last few weeks of our mass clinics are the easiest way to get your shot.”
The health unit said it will shift to small clinics and pop-ups “into the fall” after the last of the large clinics close on Aug. 20.
Larger cities are also following the trend, with Mississauga, Ont., aiming to close a convention centre used as a vaccination site on Monday, with another hospital clinic closing the next day.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the transition away from mass clinics is part of the city’s focus on bringing vaccines to the least-immunized communities, with more emphasis planned on pop-ups, drive-thru clinics and primary care sites.
“This is a good news story and it shows that our mass vaccination clinics have done their job getting the majority of our people vaccinated,” Crombie told reporters on Thursday.
“We can now look at this period as the home stretch of our initial vaccine rollout to get to that final 10 to 20 per cent of our population and ensure that they, too, are vaccinated.”
â€‹Kingston, Ont.’s health unit announced last week that it would enter a “new phase” of its vaccination effort, with plans to shut down mass clinics beginning in August and shift to pharmacy, mobile and primary care sites.
Mass clinics in the London, Ont., will see reduced hours in the coming weeks amid dwindling demand, the health unit announced this week. It said immunizations have sped up and many people have moved up their second-dose appointments that were scheduled for the fall, meaning the large sites won’t be needed.
“As the health unit turns its focus to individuals in the community, the vaccination effort will rely on mobile and walk-in pop-up clinics, as well as providing opportunities to be vaccinated at community events,” the Middlesex-London Heath Unit said in a statement.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said earlier this month that primary care sites would become more essential to the province’s vaccination plan as mass clinics at hospitals, stadiums and other large venues wind down and resume their old uses.
A spokeswoman for Elliott said targeted vaccination strategies will play a greater role going forward as the province aims to reach vaccine hesitant communities.
“The province is working with the public health units to improve vaccination rates through mobile clinics and community-based pop-ups, dedicated clinic days for people with disabilities, holding townhall meetings in multiple languages, and providing services such as transportation, translation services, and drive-through clinics,” Alexandra Hilkene said in a statement on Friday.
The Grey Bruce health unit noted this week that its local COVID-19 situation is now a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” a trend documented around the world.
The health unit says 95 per cent of cases reported in the first two weeks of July were among people not fully vaccinated, and encouraged people to get their shots, noting that it’s likely that vaccinated people may be subject to fewer restrictions such as isolation rules in the event of future outbreaks.
“Vaccinating the majority of people sets us on the road to return to normal,” it said.
Ontario reported 192 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and one death from the virus. Sixty-six per cent of Ontario adults are now fully vaccinated.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.
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