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Quebec's test positivity rate highest since May as COVID-19 infections climb – CBC.ca

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While the number of new COVID-19 cases in Quebec remains low when compared to the peak of the third wave, the test positivity rate hit 1.4 per cent on Sunday.

That’s the highest it’s been since late May, and new public health data shows infections are on the rise.

Quebec has reported an average of 139 new cases a day over the past seven days, up from an average of 57 a week prior.

Quebec Public Health reported 154 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 347 new infections were identified on Friday and Saturday.

There have been no new deaths attributed to the disease since Thursday but there are 61 COVID-19 patients in hospital — of those, 17 are in intensive care.

Dr. Donald Vinh, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre, told The Canadian Press that the current trends are concerning as they show “there is still ongoing community transmission.”

The increased rate is based on fewer tests, he said.

On May 31, Quebec recorded a test-positivity rate of 1.5 per cent based on 15,783 tests. While on Sunday, Quebec analyzed only 11,202 tests.

With that data in mind, Vinh said the concern lies in the future, as schools and university classes resume in late August  and September.

“If it’s already increased when we are in the ‘safe’ outdoors,” he said, “what’s going to happen when we’re in the indoors?”

Quebec’s public health institute reported that 84.6 per cent of residents 12 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine while 68 per cent are adequately vaccinated.

Delta variant stirs worldwide worry

Meanwhile, health officials in the United States are sounding the alarm over the rapid spread of the delta variant which is described as extremely contagious, even among vaccinated people. It may also cause more serious disease than earlier coronavirus strains.

“High viral loads suggest an increased risk of transmission and raised concern that, unlike with other variants, vaccinated people infected with delta can transmit the virus,” said Rochelle Walensky, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in a statement last week.

On Friday, the CDC released data from a study of an outbreak in Massachusetts in which it said three-quarters of those infected had been fully vaccinated. 

Quebec has reported an average of 139 new cases a day over the past seven days, up from an average of 57 a week prior. (Jean-Claude Taliana/Radio-Canada)

The CDC recommends that Americans wear masks in areas with substantial transmission “regardless of vaccination status.”

The highly contagious variant, which was first discovered in India in late 2020, has spread around the world and now accounts for the majority of cases in Canada and various other countries. 

As of late July, the delta variant accounted for about five per cent of new cases in Quebec, compared to nearly 90 per cent of new cases in Ontario. 

For now, Quebec is continuing to scale back restrictions. For example, bars and restaurants are now officially allowed to serve alcohol until 1 a.m.— one hour longer than what was previously allowed. 

Stadiums, venues and festivals can welcome 15,000 spectators outdoors, up from 5,000.

The details on all changes can be found here.

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'Absolutely gut-wrenching:' Waterloo Region child under the age of 10 dies after contracting COVID-19 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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A Waterloo Region child under the age of 10 has died after contracting COVID-19.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, who serves as the medical officer of health for Waterloo Region, shared the news during a briefing on Friday.

She said that the child had underlying health conditions but did not provide any further information, other than to say that there were no “school-related or childcare-related exposures.”

“This is a heartbreaking loss and I wish to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family and loved ones,” she said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic there have only been five deaths reported in individuals under the age of 19 and Wang said that she was “not aware” of any other fatalities involving younger individuals in Ontario.

In a message posted to Twitter, Premier Doug Ford called the loss of someone so young “absolutely gut-wrenching.”

“My prayers are with the family at this excruciatingly difficult time,” he said. “This virus knows no bounds. It’s why we need every eligible Ontarian to get vaccinated — to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those who can’t yet get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

With files from CTV News Kitchener

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88 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba Friday; more than half not vaccinated – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG –

Manitoba has recorded 88 new COVID-19 cases in Manitoba, along with one more death added to the total.

According to the provincial COVID-19 dashboard, which was updated on Friday, of the new cases 53 were not vaccinated, 12 were partially vaccinated and 23 were fully vaccinated.

The new cases bring Manitoba’s total to 59,612, including 629 active cases and 57,779 recoveries. The five-day test positivity rate in the province is 2.6 per cent.

The number of deaths of people with COVID-19 increased by one on Friday, for a total of 1,204. The province did not release any details about this death.

As of Friday, the province said there are 72 people in hospital with COVID-19 including 37 people with active cases. Of those 37 people, 27 are not vaccinated, eight are partially vaccinated and two are fully vaccinated.

Of the seven people in ICU as of Friday with active COVID-19 cases, the province said six are unvaccinated and one is partially vaccinated.

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Prepping Your Home for the Canadian Winter

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The arrival of autumn is a traditional sign that it’s time to start preparing for winter. Such rituals once had a good deal to do with human survival, such as the need to gather enough food to ensure people had enough to eat during the sparse or non-existent growing season. Of course, providing adequate shelter and warmth through the coldest months was also an essential concern.

For most people today, the task of winter preparation in Canada has to do with taking care to be comfortable while also avoiding any possible emergencies that might arise due to rough weather; this means that the main areas of concern tend to have to do with either

  • Warm Clothing
  • Reliable Transportation
  • Keeping Your Home Warm and Well-Maintained

When it comes to ensuring that your home is ready for the winter season, your top priority should be to check that your living areas can stay warm without sacrificing heating efficiency.

The Importance of Windows in Winter

One of the most critical aspects of this preparation involves checking your windows to ensure they are ready to withstand the coldest temperatures to keep you and your family safe and warm. Like everything else on your home, your windows experience normal wear and tear as they do their job of keeping the cold out and the heat inside each year.

While it might seem evident when windows are getting old, less obvious imperfections can quickly arise that may prove a tremendous burden if only discovered during the coldest weather. That’s one of the key reasons why preparing easy on can save you many headaches later in winter.

Trusting the Experts

Rather than play a guessing game with the condition of your windows, you can get in touch with a professional company that can ensure your windows are in proper working order. For example, you can contact a company specializing in windows and doors in Toronto to see whether the time has come to replace your windows.

Check Your Heating System

Another vital aspect of preparing your home for winter is to check your heating system and perform any tests available to guarantee everything is in working order. If your house is equipped with an oil furnace or contains a heating system that uses fuel, make sure that your tank is full so that you don’t run out at the wrong time. You might also want to contact your utility company to see if they recommend any other maintenance services.

General Weatherproofing

Along with heating and window condition, there are many more general ways to weatherproof your home. Some of these include:

  • Replacing or installing insulation
  • Weatherstripping and caulking
  • Repairing any leaks

Preparing your home for winter isn’t very difficult as long as you take the time to check a few essential things if you want to be ready. As always, the best way to be sure is to talk to the experts, like a professional window supplier who can make sure you are free from drafts when the cold weather hits.

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