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Patients and staff infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Lakeshore Hospital – Toys Matrix




Patients and staff infected in COVID-19 outbreak at Lakeshore Hospital – ToysMatrix

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Nova Scotia reports 11 people in ICU Saturday, total of 287 people in hospital with COVID-19 – CTV News Atlantic



In a news release Saturday afternoon, health officials in Nova Scotia said 82 people were admitted to hospital and are receiving specialized care in a COVID-19 designated unit. 11 people were reported to be in intensive care.

According to the province, the age range of those in hospital is 23-100 years old, and the average age is 67.

Of the 82 people receiving specialized care for COVID-19 in hospital, 79 were admitted during the Omicron wave.

There are also two other groups of people in hospital related to COVID-19:

  • 84 people who were identified as positive upon arrival at hospital but were admitted for another medical reason, or were admitted for COVID-19 but no longer require specialized care.
  • 121 people who contracted COVID-19 after being admitted to hospital.

The number of COVID-19 admits and discharges to hospital was not available Saturday.

On Jan. 21, the Nova Scotia Health Authority labs completed 3,682 tests.

According to a news release, an additional 502 new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being reported.

Of the new cases; 219 are in the Central Zone, 88 are in the Eastern Zone, 59 are in the Northern Zone and 136 new cases are in the Western Zone.

Nova Scotia remains under a state of emergency. Provincial officials first declared a state of emergency on March 22, 2020 and it has now been extended to February 6, 2022.

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Exclusive-U.S. opposes plans to strengthen World Health Organization



The United States, the World Health Organization’s top donor, is resisting proposals to make the agency more independent, four officials involved in the talks said, raising doubts about the Biden administration’s long-term support for the U.N. agency.

The proposal, made by the WHO’s working group on sustainable financing, would increase each member state’s standing annual contribution, according to a WHO document published online and dated Jan. 4.

The plan is part of a wider reform process galvanised by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the limitations of the WHO’s power to intervene early in a crisis.

But the U.S. government is opposing the reform because it has concerns about the WHO’s ability to confront future threats, including from China, U.S. officials told Reuters.

It is pushing instead for the creation of a separate fund, directly controlled by donors, that would finance prevention and control of health emergencies.

Four European officials involved in the talks, who declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media, confirmed the U.S. opposition. The U.S. government had no immediate comment.

The published proposal calls for member states’ mandatory contributions to rise gradually from 2024 so they would account for half the agency’s $2 billion core budget by 2028, compared to less than 20% now, the document said.

The WHO’s core budget is aimed at fighting pandemics and strengthening healthcare systems across the world. It also raises an additional $1 billion or so a year to tackle specific global challenges such as tropical diseases and influenza.

Supporters say that the current reliance on voluntary funding from member states and from charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation forces the WHO to focus on priorities set by the funders, and makes it less able to criticise members when things go wrong.

An independent panel on pandemics that was appointed to advise on the WHO reform had called for a much bigger increase in mandatory fees, to 75% of the core budget, deeming the current system “a major risk to the integrity and independence” of the WHO.


The WHO itself responded to a query by saying that “only flexible and predictable funds can enable WHO to fully implement the priorities of the Member States”.

Top European Union donors, including Germany, back the plan, along with most African, South Asian, South American and Arab countries, three of the European officials said.

The proposal is to be discussed at the WHO’s executive board meeting next week but the divisions mean no agreement is expected, three of the officials said.

The WHO confirmed there was currently no consensus among member states, and said talks were likely to continue until the annual meeting in May of the World Health Assembly, the agency’s top decision-making body.

European donors in particular favour empowering, rather than weakening, multilateral organisations including the WHO.

One European official said the U.S. plan “causes scepticism among many countries”, and said the creation of a new structure controlled by donors, rather than by the WHO, would weaken the agency’s ability to combat future pandemics.

Washington has been critical of the WHO for some time.

Former president Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the WHO after accusing it of defending China’s initial delays in sharing information when COVID-19 emerged there in 2019.

The Biden administration rejoined soon after taking office, but officials told Reuters they think the WHO needs significant reform, and raised concerns about its governance, structure and ability to confront rising threats, not least from China.

One of the European officials said other big countries, including Japan and Brazil, were also hesitant about the published WHO proposal.

A Brazilian official with knowledge of the discussions said Brazil agreed that WHO funding needed to be looked at, but said it opposed the proposal to raise contributions as it had run up deficits tackling the virus and was now facing a fiscal crunch.

Instead, the official said the WHO needed to investigate other ways to raise funds, such as charging for its services, cutting costs or relocating operations to cheaper countries.

“Raising contributions should be the last resort,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the discussions.

Two of the European officials said China had not yet made its position clear, while a third official listed Beijing among the critics of the proposal.

The governments of Japan and China had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio in Brussels and Trevor Hunnicutt in Washington; Additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Andreas Rinke in Berlin and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Editing by Josephine Mason, Kevin Liffey and Daniel Wallis)

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B.C. to allow COVID-positive and double-vaxxed patients to share hospital rooms –



Due to record-high hospitalizations, patients who have COVID-19 are being placed in the same room with double-vaccinated people who do not have the virus, British Columbia health officials said.

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed the policy at a Friday news conference, responding to a specific question about the policy’s use by the Fraser Health Authority.

It is unclear if the policy is limited to hospitals in Fraser Health, the province’s largest health-care authority with 12 hospitals, and which hospitals have the policy in place.

A spokesperson for Fraser Health refused to answer questions when asked about the specifics of the “cohorting” policy, instead pointing to the answers given at Friday’s news conference. Cohorting refers to assigning different patients into different groups for the purposes of disease management.

At the news conference, Henry said the protocol was to “maximize space” in health-care facilities amid a rapidly mounting hospitalization rate due to the more infectious Omicron variant.

“That is an infection prevention and control team decision made at a hospital-by-hospital and, actually, room-by-room and ward-by-ward, basis,” she said.

Henry mentioned that additional precautions would be put in place if double-vaccinated patients were placed with COVID-positive patients in the same room.

Fraser Health said the protections were consistent with “droplet precautions,” with COVID-positive patients’ beds being placed a minimum of two metres away from any other patients.

In addition, COVID-positive patients will not be sharing rooms with immunocompromised patients, and they must either be asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic in order to share rooms. Those experiencing significant symptoms will continue to be placed in COVID-19-only cohorts.

The memo outlining the new guidelines said they were being put in place “due to the evolving epidemiology of the COVID-19 virus, specifically Omicron, and that this virus generally causes mild disease particularly in fully vaccinated individuals.”

“The challenge of having more people in a hospital is the challenge of cohorting everybody is much more difficult,” Health Minister Adrian Dix said at the Friday news conference.

“When you have a lot of people in the hospital, you have to manage within the space you have and ensure that infection control stays high — and that’s what our teams are doing in hospitals across B.C.”

At the same news conference, health officials said they would not be focusing on contact tracing and would shift their COVID-19 management strategies.

The decision to place those who have COVID-19 in the same hospital room with fully vaccinated people received some pushback online from health experts — particularly in light of evidence that someone with two vaccine doses is still at considerable risk of contracting the more infectious Omicron variant.

The province still considers anyone with two shots to be fully vaccinated, even as the booster dose rollout continues to accelerate.

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