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Quebec to require vaccine passport for hospital visitors as COVID-19 cases climb – Powell River Peak

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MONTREAL — Quebecers who want to visit patients in hospitals will be required to show proof of vaccination to enter the institutions, Health Minister Christian Dubé announced Tuesday.

At a news conference updating the province’s COVID-19 situation, Premier Francois Legault stressed the need to protect and support the province’s health-care system as it experiences a fourth wave fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Quebec’s vaccine passport system, the first in the country, has been in effect since Sept. 1 to access businesses and services deemed non-essential, such as bars, restaurants, gyms and festivals. Dubé said some exceptions will apply to the new hospital rule, such as when someone who is not vaccinated wishes to visit a dying loved one.

The health minister also announced that the ethics committee of Quebec’s public health institute has approved a previously announced plan to make vaccination mandatory for health workers. The new measure will apply to all staff in the public and private sectors who are in regular contact with patients, including cleaning crews and receptionists, Dubé said.

He urged unvaccinated health workers to get their needles soon, saying that they will face suspension without pay if they are not adequately vaccinated by Oct. 15.

“We cannot accept that we have workers who put vulnerable people at risk,” Dubé said. “It’s our responsibility to protect our health-care system.”

Quebec had said on Aug. 17 it would require only health-care and social workers who deal with patients for more than 15 minutes to get fully vaccinated, but now the measure will apply to workers who have any contact with patients.

The institute’s ethics committee in January said it was better to avoid mandatory vaccination of health-care workers out of respect for their autonomy and freedom of choice. But on Tuesday the committee said the pandemic situation has evolved so much that a change in its position was warranted.

Legault emphasized the fact the health-care network is currently facing a labour shortage while also dealing with an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Meanwhile, Quebec reported 515 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and no additional deaths attributed to the virus. 

Health authorities said hospitalizations climbed to 171, up 11 from Monday, while the number of patients in intensive care rose to 68, an increase of four. 

Dubé said that the recent increase in hospitalizations mainly involves people who are not vaccinated, adding that those people should not prevent vaccinated people from returning “to a certain normality.”

Of the most recent infections, the province said 353 were among unvaccinated people or those who had received only one dose less than 14 days ago.

The province administered 10,042 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, for a total of 12,497,942.

About 87,8 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, while 82,1 per cent are considered fully vaccinated with two shots.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 7, 2021.

Virginie Ann, The Canadian Press

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Ontario reports 653 new COVID-19 cases, 6 more virus-related deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario is reporting another week-over-week decline in its daily COVID-19 case count with fewer than 700 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours.

Provincial health officials logged 653 new COVID-19 cases today, up slightly from 640 on Saturday but down from 715 one week ago.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases continues to drop, hitting 620 today, down from 709 last Sunday.

Of the new cases confirmed today, 499 are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 154 are in those who are fully immunized.

With 31,063 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of two per cent, compared to 2.3 per cent seven days ago.

The province says there are now 177 people with COVID-19 receiving treatment in Ontario intensive care units, declining by five since last Sunday.

Six more virus-related deaths were reported over the past 24 hours but the province says three of those fatalities occurred last month.

Ontario’s active COVID-19 caseload now sits at 5,591, down from 6,396 last Sunday.

More than 80 per cent of eligible Ontarians have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

In an effort to boost vaccination rates, the city is holding vaccination clinics in a variety of locations with high foot traffic, including malls across Toronto this weekend.

Dr. Omar Khan, an assistant professor with the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, said Ontario’s high vaccination rate will help keep ICUs from filling up.

“By having people vaccinated, that keeps them out of the hospital, keeps them out of the ICUs, and then lets the medical system catch up with everything that’s been piling up,” he told CP24 on Sunday morning. 

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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COVID-19: N.B. reports person in 40s has died, as province adds 82 new cases – Globalnews.ca

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A person in their 40s is New Brunswick’s 54th COVID-related death.

The province said in a news release Sunday that the person was from Zone 1 (Moncton region).

The news marked six COVID-related deaths in the province since last Wednesday, under a week ago.

“Each life taken in New Brunswick by COVID-19 is more than a number,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in a news release.

“These are people’s parents, children, friends, neighbours and coworkers.”

The death was announced on the same day the province reported 82 new cases — 64 of which involve people who are not fully vaccinated.

Read more:
Lifting COVID-19 restrictions in New Brunswick was ‘not the right decision’: doctor

There are now 33 people in New Brunswick hospitalized due to the virus, 15 of whom are in the ICU.

With 33 recoveries reported, the number of active cases is now 628.

Public Health data shows 79.2 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 88 per cent have received their first dose of vaccine.

New cases breakdown

The new cases are:

Zone 1 (Moncton region) – 27 cases

  • 12 people 19 and under
  • one person 20-29
  • three people 30-39
  • two people 40-49
  • two people 50-59
  • two people 70-79
  • three people 80-89
  • two people 90 and over

Eighteen cases are under investigation and nine are contacts of a previously-confirmed case.

Zone 2 (Saint John region) – four cases

  • a person 20-29
  • a person 40-49
  • a person 60-69
  • a person 70-79

Three cases are contacts of previously-confirmed cases and one is under investigation.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: the upward trend in cases among children'



4:53
COVID-19: the upward trend in cases among children


COVID-19: the upward trend in cases among children

Zone 3 (Fredericton region) – 30 cases

  • 16 people 19 and under
  • six people 20-29
  • one person 40-49
  • three people 50-59
  • four people 60-69

Twenty-two cases are under investigation and eight are contacts of previously-confirmed cases.

Zone 4 (Edmundston region) – 14 cases

  • four people 19 and under
  • two people 20-29
  • six people 30-39
  • two people 80-89

Thirteen cases are under investigation and one is a contact of a previously-confirmed case.

Zone 5 (Campbellton region) – two cases

  • a person 30-39
  • a person 70-79

Both cases are contacts of previously-confirmed cases.

Zone 6 (Bathurst region) – four cases

  • three people 30-39
  • one person 40-49

Three cases are under investigation and one is a contact of a previously-confirmed case.

Zone 7 (Miramichi region) – one case

  • a person 30-39

This case is under investigation.

State of emergency reinstated

On Friday, the province reinstated a state of emergency due to the current level of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Physical distancing, indoor masking and a proof of vaccination policy for certain services and businesses are now in effect.

Anyone entering New Brunswick must also pre-register through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program.


Click to play video: 'New Brunswickers react to reinstated state of emergency'



0:41
New Brunswickers react to reinstated state of emergency


New Brunswickers react to reinstated state of emergency

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Outbreak declared at Prince George's University Hospital of Northern BC – BC News – Castanet.net

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A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Prince George’s University Hospital of Northern BC Sunday.

Northern Health says nine patients and one staff member on the hospital’s Primary Care Medical Unit have tested positive for the virus, and more testing is currently underway.

As a result, the hospital has restricted the unit to essential visitors only.

The condition of the infected people was not disclosed.

An outbreak at the same hospital last December through January left eight people dead, after 33 people tested positive.

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