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Positive COVID-19 cases in the Kawartha Lakes now up to 25 –



Public health nurse Simone Jackson wearing personal protective equipment as she prepares to open a swab to test a patient for COVID-19 in Peterborough Public Health’s clinic. (Photo courtesy of Peterborough Public Health)

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District (HKRP) Health Unit has reported 13 more COVID-19 cases in the City of Kawartha Lakes since Tuesday (March 24).

This includes a woman in her 60s and a woman in her 80s who are both hospitalized at Ross Memorial Hospital and Lindsay, and 11 more people who are now all self-isolating.

Except for one man in his 70s, the 11 self-isolating people are all women, with two in their 30s, two in their 40s, three in their 50s, two in their 60s, and one in her 70s.

As of Thursday (March 26), there have been 25 positive COVID-19 cases in the area serviced by the HKRP Health Unit, which includes Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, and Haliburton, including one death.

As for Peterborough Public Health, it confirmed two new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing to nine the total number of cases in Peterborough city and county, Hiawatha and Curve Lake.

Peterborough Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra shared that news during her daily media briefing on Thursday morning (March 26).

Testing positive and receiving care at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is a female in her 60s with a travel history to the United States. She was tested in-home by paramedics this past weekend and, based on her condition, was admitted to PRHC on Monday (March 23). She has had one known contact who is now in self-isolation.

Dr. Salvaterra said her test results came in Wednesday evening (March 25), confirming COVID-19. She noted her “regret” that the patient and her family had to wait six days for her test result to come back but stressed the delay didn’t affect the quality of care she has received nor its urgency.

Also testing positive is a St. Joseph’s at Fleming resident in her 90s — the first positive case detected in a local long-term care home. In addition, two other residents of the home have exhibited respiratory symptoms but both have tested negative for COVID-19. All three have been placed in isolation at the facility.

Meanwhile, a St. Joseph’s at Fleming staff member who also showed symptoms was referred to local paramedics for in-home testing on Wednesday evening (March 25) and is self-isolation at home.

Peterborough Public Health is now investigating if there is an epidemiological link to travel or other known COVID-19 cases. Visitation to St. Joseph’s at Fleming has been restricted since Saturday, March 14th at the direction of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

To date, 504 COVID-19 tests have been conducted by Peterborough Public Health with results awaited on 325 of those tested. Another 170 cases have been confirmed negative.

Dr. Salvaterra noted the first positive local case confirmed in Peterborough — a 30-year-old man who had a travel history to Spain and Portugal — is now clear of COVID-19 following two weeks of self-isolation and retesting.

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OPH investigating 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa, bringing total to 122 –



Ottawa Public Health says it is investigation 122 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city — that’s 16 new cases in total.  

The city health authority is also investigating two institutional outbreaks of the virus, one of which at Maplewood Retirement Community, OPH confirmed in a Sunday statement.

This is following the health authority’s announcement of 31 confirmed cases on Saturday.

According to Dr. Vera Etches, the retirement home has implemented outbreak management and OPH is connecting with close contacts.

“All residents have been notified and are in self-isolation,” Etches said in a statement. “Staff at the retirement home continue to be screened and have been instructed to wear personal protective equipment in the building, specifically wearing a mask when entering the building and following droplet/contact procedures in all resident rooms.”

Further details of individuals who have tested positive were not provided. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and every citizen must continue doing their part to keep themselves, their family members, their neighbours, co-workers and community members healthy and safe, and reduce the spread of the virus,” Etches added.

Etches urges everyone to continue to practicing physical distancing and to self-isolate if symptoms develop for 14 days or travel was involved. Those with the virus are also to continue their isolation 24 hours after symptoms have fully resolved. 

People are also encouraged to avoid visiting elderly friends or relatives unless the visit is essential. 

For more tips on how to stay safe, visit the OPH website. 

The total number of positive cases in Ontario is now at 1,355. 

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‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand – Red Deer Advocate



OTTAWA — Canadians have been coming forward in large numbers to donate blood after Canadian Blood Services warned of a possible shortage as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blood donor clinics have extended their hours and put in place strict safety protocols for anyone giving blood.

“The response has been tremendous,” Dr. Isra Levy, the agency’s vice-president of medical affairs and innovation, said Friday.

“From our point of view, the numbers are very, very satisfying in the sense that we’re able to match demand with supply. We really need to keep up that altruism that has motivated donors to come in.”

Canadian Blood Services operates a national blood inventory that allows products to be regularly shifted around the country to meet hospital and patient needs.

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis.

Levy warned nearly two weeks ago that Canada was facing a critical blood shortage. Donations had dropped about 20 per cent because of concerns about the novel coronavirus.

Because of a suspension of elective surgeries, the demand for blood is also down about 15 per cent, Levy said Friday.

While things are going well now, he added, the concern is whether Canadians will continue to keep donating over the long run.

“We’re going to have this challenge for many weeks to come and the implication is we’re going to need our donors to really continue to show up,” Levy said.

“They need to think about things not about as an urgent and immediate need for blood, but as an ongoing, pressing concern that we have about a potential for a sudden drop in inventory.”

Calgary’s blood donor clinic had to reduce appointments last week because of long lineups and wait times.

Donors waited behind a red line outside the clinic while checking in. Inside, chairs were placed strategically in the waiting room and every other bed was used. Health workers wiped down every donor station thoroughly between patients.

Some donors recently took to social media to discuss the importance of giving.

“First real trip out of the house in a while to Canadian Blood Services. As a former recipient, I understand first hand the importance of donors,” wrote Katie Mitchell on Instagram.

“They have put great steps in place to have donors maintain social distancing requirements. So happy I wasn’t rejected.”

“My dad needs transfusions every three weeks so in addition to worrying about COVID-19, he’s concerned about blood supply shortages,” wrote Sara Jane O’Neill on Twitter.

“Please donate if you can.”

Levy said some donors in Ottawa have told him that they feel they’re able to make a difference when everything else in the world is out of their control.

“It’s a sense of contribution in an uncertain time,” he said.

“The people who are showing up at our donor collection centres, anecdotally, express a sense of satisfaction that they’re able to do something for the community beyond staying at home and finding ways to fill their time.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2020

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary. Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

The Canadian Press


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8 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, bringing total to 72 –



There are eight new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba, bringing the province’s total to 72.

Health officials made the announcement at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building Sunday morning.

Officials are looking into the new cases to determine where those people got the coronavirus and whether they could have passed it to anyone else.

One of the patients is in an intensive care unit, and another has been admitted to hospital, chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said.

He said two Manitobans have recovered from the virus so far.

The total number of deaths from the virus reported in Manitoba remains at one: a Winnipeg woman in her 60s, who died Friday after she was admitted to an intensive care unit in critical condition the previous week.

More than 7,000 tests for COVID-19 have been done in the province so far.

Roussin reiterated that the measures the province has taken under the Public Health Act will come into effect on Monday, including limiting public gatherings to 10 people and requiring retail businesses like grocery stores to make sure people are one to two metres apart.

These new measures bolster what was previously only a recommendation.

On Saturday, Manitoba saw its biggest jump in COVID-19 cases since the virus was first detected here, as health officials announced 25 new patients had been identified.

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