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Public Health confirms closure of two clinics, three new cases of COVID-19 – Kingstonist

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Kingstonist file photo.

Two clinics in the
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region have closed due to
positive COVID-19 cases.

On Wednesday, Mar.
25, 2020, KFL&A Public Health confirmed that two clinics in its region had
closed, but would not indicate which clinics had closed. However, on Tuesday, Mar.
24, 2020, Lakeland Family Health Team, based out of Denbigh, Addington Highlands,
posted on Facebook stating that their clinic was closing after a positive
COVID-19 test.

“We want to
reassure the community that KFLA Public Health is following close contacts and
advising them to self isolate for 14 days. Lakelands Family Health Team is
working closely with KFLA Public Health at this time,” the clinic said in a follow
up post on Tuesday.

This news comes the same day as three new cases of COVID-19 were reported by KFL&A Public Health, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 14. Public Health was unable to confirm whether or not any or all of the new cases were related to the two clinics that have closed after positive COVID-19 testing, citing privacy policies.

“Presently all confirmed
COVID-19 positive cases in our region, including the health care workers, are
being followed by our case management team and contact tracing is being done to
identify all relevant contacts of those individuals,” said Jenn Fagan, a
communications officer with KFL&A Public Health. “All people identified as
close contacts would receive a call from a public health nurse on our case
management team. For confidentiality reasons we are not able to share any
identifying information of any of case or potential case outside of the
established contact tracing and case management procedures.”

As for the background information on the three new cases reported today, Fagan said she was unable to divulge any details as all three cases are currently still under investigation.

Kingstonist will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as more information becomes available.

For more resources and information regarding COVID-19 in Kingston and the area, check out our quick reference guide here.

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Is the COVID-19 pandemic keeping you up at night? Here’s expert advice on how to get some sleep – The Globe and Mail

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With all the uncertainty and upheaval caused by the new coronavirus pandemic, Canadians may have a harder time getting a restful night’s sleep than usual. Yet sleep may be the very thing you need to get you through your day.

What can you do when your thoughts keep you awake at bedtime? What should you do if you’re roused at 3 a.m. and cannot fall back asleep? How do you ensure your children are getting the rest they need? We asked sleep experts for their advice:

So you can’t sleep. That’s okay.

“If [people] normally don’t have trouble sleeping and they’re having trouble now, they’re having a normal response to an abnormal situation,” says Charles Samuels, medical director of Calgary’s Centre for Sleep and Human Performance.

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During periods of stress, people typically experience mental rumination, where they have thoughts they cannot control or contain, he says. This is a completely normal psychological response and, especially at this time, people have legitimate worries, he says.

If this describes you, try some of the behavioural interventions described below. However, if you had trouble sleeping before the pandemic, and your sleep problems are now worse than ever, contact your doctor, Dr. Samuels says.

In any case, he advises against using over-the-counter sleep medication.

Quit checking the news

While many health experts have recommended that people limit their news media consumption, Dr. Samuels takes a firmer view.

“Paying attention to the media is just a really bad idea. In any psychological state where there’s a hyperarousal and hypervigilance, continuing to expose yourself to something that you can’t change is of no value.”

Watching the news everyday, and tuning into every news conference is not going to change the situation, Dr. Samuels says. So, he advises, just don’t do it – especially not before going bed.

“People should listen to what they’re told to do to be safe, and do that, and then get on with their lives.”

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Practice mediation and breathing techniques

Meditative and breathing techniques, such as “box breathing,” can be very useful for coping with stress and for helping you wind down before bed, Dr. Samuels says.

“People undervalue the calming effect of learning to breathe.”

Joanna Mansfield, staff psychiatrist at the women’s mood and anxiety clinic and the cognitive behavioural therapy clinic at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, also recommends box breathing. In an e-mail, she describes how to do it: “Inhale gradually to fill your lungs with air, hold for 1-2 seconds, then exhale the air, hold for 1-2 seconds, and repeat. This can be done 7-10 times in a row, focusing on the breath.”

Get up if you wake up

If you wake up and cannot get back to sleep, get out of bed, go to another room, calm down and return to bed when you’re sleepy, Dr. Samuels says. Never check the time in the middle of the night, especially if it means using your phone or computer, since that can inhibit your ability to fall back to sleep, he says.

Stick to a routine

Keeping a routine is important for everyone, including children and adolescents, says pediatric sleep expert Reut Gruber, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry at McGill University. Your brain needs “zeitgebers” (time givers), or cues from the environment, to recognize day from night, she says.

These zeitgebers include having breakfast and exposing yourself to daylight in the morning, for instance, Dr. Gruber says. At night, the body produces melatonin when it gets dark, which tells your brain it is time to go to sleep.

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Since children and teenagers do not need to adhere to their regular school schedules right now, they need not wake up and go to bed at the same time as usual, she says, especially if bedtime is a battle. But whatever new routine they adopt, they should stick to it so that they have consistent wake times. They should start the day with a good amount of light exposure, eat breakfast and engage in activities that help their brains recognize it is daytime, she says. They should also wind down around the same hour each night to maintain consistent bedtimes. A hot shower before bed helps, she suggests. Prebed activities should include staying off electronic devices if possible. If not, use blue-light blockers or blue-light filters so as not to interfere with the body’s secretion of melatonin, she advises.

Prioritize sleep

Sleep helps your immune system, and it allows you to better regulate your mood, Dr. Gruber says. When sleep deprived, you are more likely to feel stressed and irritable – a terrible combination when you are stuck at home in close quarters with others, she says.

So make sleep a priority, she says. If you do not prioritize it, you will likely not make the effort to ensure you get a restful night.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters.

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NS Records Largest Number Of COVID-19 In A Single Day – Huddle Today

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HALIFAX—Nova Scotia health officials confirmed 26 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, marking the largest number of cases ever confirmed in a single day in the province.

Nova Scotia now has 173 confirmed cases of the virus, while 6,591 people have tested negative.

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, pointed out today that part of the reason so many new cases were identified across the province yesterday is that so many more people in Nova Scotia are now getting tested.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre’s microbiology lab is working nearly around the clock, and yesterday processed more than 1,000 tests. Two weeks ago, it was only able to process about 200 tests a day.

“While we have 26 new cases out of 1,000 test results. That’s good news, a lot of people are testing negative,” Strang said.

However, he admitted he is still concerned about how quickly new cases are being identified, especially since he expects to see new signs of community spread at any time.

“This does make me nervous. I didn’t sleep well last night thinking about this,” he said.

He said that the next few weeks will be “critical” for Nova Scotia. As COVID begins to spread more rapidly social distancing and other public health measures will become even more important.

Even if Nova Scotians follow all the rules, he said, it could still be some time before things start going back to normal.

“I’m not sure if it’s June or July. But I keep coming back to the point that we know this isn’t just a two-week phenomenon. It’s a number of weeks: six, eight, 10 weeks at least,” Strang said.

“Even when things start to get better, we [won’t] just take everything off all at once,” he added. “We have to then loosen up the restrictions in a very carefully managed way. Even as we start to get back to normal it doesn’t mean we get back to full normal right away.”

COVID-19 Spread Continues at Seniors Homes   

Strang also pointed out today that health officials are still trying to oust the virus from several seniors facilities in the province, even as new cases continue to emerge.

One of yesterday’s new COVID-19 cases includes a staff member at the Magnolia residential care home in Enfield. That means there are now three staff members and two residents at the facility with COVID-19.

Strang said health officials are still trying to untangle exactly where the infection in that facility started, but that anyone at the facilities who have been in close contact with an infected person are in self-isolation.

Two other senior’s facilities—the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish and Lewis Hall in Dartmouth—each have a staff member who has been infected.

Strang said both of those infections are related to travel or other cases.

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2nd health-care worker at same Winnipeg hospital tests positive for COVID-19, unions say – CBC.ca

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Manitoba health-care workers will be screened before heading into hospitals for shifts after new cases of front-line staff testing positive for coronavirus.

The measure, announced Wednesday, comes as several staff from three different hospitals are self-isolating, following exposure to four co-workers who tested positive for COVID-19.

CBC News has learned those four include two workers from the Grace Hospital in Winnipeg who have tested positive in recent days. There have also been positive cases at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg and the Selkirk Regional Health Centre.

Dr. Brett Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, said Tuesday a worker at the Selkirk health centre had tested positive.

He confirmed Wednesday that workers from Grace and St. Boniface hospitals had also tested positive. He did not specify how many cases there were at either of those Winnipeg hospitals. 

A note from Shared Health sent to staff at St. Boniface Hospital Tuesday informed workers that a worker in the echocardiogram department at that hospital had tested positive.

The memo recommended any staff who worked alongside the employee recently to self-isolate for 14 days.

Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals president Bob Moroz confirmed Wednesday that a member of the union has tested positive for COVID-19, though he would not confirm where the person worked.

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The Manitoba Nurses Union said Tuesday an emergency department nurse at a Winnipeg hospital had tested positive. On Wednesday, an MNU spokesperson said the union had learned of a second positive case at the same hospital. 

Moroz said that health-care worker is a member of MAHCP.

He wouldn’t reveal that workers’ profession, but said due to the nature of the job the person would’ve routinely moved throughout the facility in recent days. The worker has no known recent travel history, said Moroz.

Both unions say several health-care workers at the hospital have begun self-isolating.

Workers screened on job

Starting Wednesday, all health-care workers entering Health Sciences Centre and other hospitals’ access points will undergoing a screening. 

The Manitoba Nurses’ Union said it is aware of a screening process that health-care workers will have to undergo at access points to Health Science Centre beginning Wednesday. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Workers’ temperatures will be taken, symptoms checked, and they will be asked about recent travel history and exposure to known COVID-19 cases at all critical care areas, said chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa.

She said the screening update follows confirmation of health-care workers at three different cites testing positive in recent days.

“This news of course is very upsetting to us,” she said. “Our investigations have not identified … any patients at these sites as being in close contact with these recent individuals.”

Siragusa said staff who worked closely with the positive workers have been asked to self-isolate for two weeks.

The contact investigation involving the worker at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre — tracing who that worker came into direct contact with in recent days — is ongoing, Roussin said.

The Manitoba Nurses Union confirmed several nurses at the Selkirk hospital are self-isolating after coming into contact with the confirmed health-care worker.

Call for more nurses

Manitoba Health Minister Cameron Friesen issued a call Wednesday morning for more nurses to come forward and re-register — retirees, nursing instructors, those who recently returned to Manitoba but aren’t working, and more.

“If you fit these criteria we are asking for your help,” Friessen said. “Now is the time to broadly solicit for help.”

Premier Brian Pallister acknowledged health-care workers have become infected in other jurisdictions, and said it was inevitable it would occur in Manitoba. 

But he said the call for more nurses isn’t a result of workers testing positive locally. He said it has been on the province’s radar for some time as measures ramp up to control the spread.

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National roundup:

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Moroz said his union is concerned about worst case scenarios that could lead to staffing shortages due to frontline workers contracting the virus. 

As with the call for more nurses, Moroz said it’s only a matter of time before the government is issuing a similar call for more respiratory therapists, which his union represents.

“Our members were already working short-staffed in way too many areas before this crisis hit,” said Moroz. “As always, it’s up to the employer to ensure adequate staffing and to issue calls for help where they need it, as they did for nurses with critical care experience yesterday.”

He said some workers are facing barriers accessing personal protective equipment on the job, or are told certain tasks or involvement with patients don’t require the wearing of gear.

Friesen said the province has adequate supplies of personal protective equipment for now and is waiting on orders for more.

(CBC)

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