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Record 19 COVID-19 deaths in Manitoba Saturday, including woman in her 20s – CBC.ca

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A record 19 more people have died from COVID-19 in Manitoba, including a woman from the Winnipeg health region in her 20s.

The province also announced 354 new cases of the illness in a Saturday news release.

The total number of deaths related to the illness is now 381.

More than 240 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Manitoba in November, and there have now been 70 in the first five days of December alone. That includes 16 deaths — Manitoba’s previous one-day high — reported on Tuesday.

Over half of the deaths announced Saturday are related to outbreaks at Winnipeg personal care homes, including:

  • Three at Park Manor Care Home (a man in his 70s, a man in his 90s and a woman in her 90s).
  • Three at St. Norbert Personal Care Home (a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s).
  • Two at Holy Family Home (a woman in her 90s and a woman over the age of 100).
  • A man in his 90s at Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home.
  • A woman in her 70s at Oakview Place Personal Care Home.

A woman in her 60s linked to the outbreak at The Pas Hospital acute care also died.

The woman in her 20s is the second-youngest person in Manitoba to die from the illness, after the death of a boy under the age of 10 last week.

Seven other people from the Winnipeg health region have died, including a man in his 50s, a man in his 60s, two women and a man in their 70s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s.

Number in hospital drops

There are now 349 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 51 in intensive care. Those numbers are down from record highs on Friday of 361 in hospital and 55 in intensive care.

Of the new cases, 235 are in Winnipeg, 44 in the Southern Health region, 32 in the Interlake-Eastern health region, 31 in the Northern Health region and 12 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health Region.

Manitoba’s five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is 13.1 per cent provincially, down slightly from 13.4 per cent on Friday. In Winnipeg, the rate fell to 14.1 per cent from 14.6 per cent.

There are currently 9,115 active cases listed in the province, and 8,927 have recovered.

Two new COVID-19 outbreaks were also reported Saturday. The Milner Ridge Correctional Centre near Beausejour and Greendale Estate assisted living facility in Grunthal have both been moved to the critical, or red level of the province’s pandemic response system.

Previously declared outbreaks in the GA4 unit at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg and at Seymour Pacific Developments Ltd. in Brandon are now over.

Saturday’s update comes a day after the province released projections on Friday that suggest sweeping restrictions in Manitoba have barely kept the province from its worst-case scenario for daily COVID-19 cases, which assumes few restrictions and poor compliance in the province.

There were 320 new cases announced in the province on Friday.

The province also said Saturday that 2,981 tests were completed on Friday. That brings the total number of lab tests completed since early February to 369,154. 

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Hamilton's COVID vaccine clinic shut down | TheSpec.com – TheSpec.com

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More COVID news

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic temporarily closed at Hamilton Health Sciences amid shortages that have limited immunization to only residents of seniors’ homes and second doses.

The clinic shut its doors Wednesday after reducing appointments on Monday and Tuesday to 300 a day from 1,000 at its height.

It comes as hospitals struggle to care for high numbers of COVID patients, with six more sent to Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara from overburdened hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

In total, 21 COVID patients have been transferred to area hospitals — seven to the Charlton Campus of St. Joseph’s Healthcare, five to Hamilton General Hospital, six to Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital and three to Niagara Health.

Hamilton hospitals were caring for 135 COVID patients Wednesday. To compare, fewer than 150 people total were hospitalized in Hamilton over the first four months of the pandemic.

The last month has seen a particularly significant jump, with HHS caring on Wednesday for nearly double the number of COVID patients at 97 than it was on Dec. 29, when it set a record of 50.

There is hope hospitals will see relief as new daily infections are lower now than at the beginning of January.

Hamilton reported 70 new cases Wednesday — only once in the last nine days has the number been above double digits. It’s also well below the single-day record of 209 set on Jan. 5.

But provincial public health officials caution the number of COVID infections remain high. To compare, Hamilton’s single-day record was 71 on Nov. 26, when the city was in the red zone.

There is also worry about three fast-spreading COVID variants — one is already in Ontario, although there have been no cases of the B.1.1.7 variant found in Hamilton so far despite increased surveillance.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, cautioned Monday that the B.1.1.7 variant “took off exponentially” in the U.K.

“We haven’t seen that yet,” he said. “That gives me some reassurance that our measures are holding.”

Hamilton’s pandemic death toll is 243 after the city reported three more COVID deaths Wednesday — 11 deaths have been reported in two days.

Of the most recent deaths, two appear to be seniors age 80 or more and one appears to be between the ages of 70 to 79. It’s unknown if they died in outbreaks because the city no longer provides that information.

There was a new death reported in the outbreak on unit E3 of Juravinski Hospital, where 29 have been infected and seven have died. As of Wednesday, there are outbreaks on 11 hospital units at HHS and St. Joseph’s.

The city’s 50 ongoing outbreaks also include 22 seniors’ homes and 11 other vulnerable congregate settings, including the Salvation Army Lawson Ministries, where an outbreak was declared Jan. 26 after two people tested positive.

In addition, there are outbreaks at three workplaces and three daycares.

Outbreaks have been declared over at long-term-care home Idlewyld Manor, accounting firm Pettinelli Mastroluisi on James Street South and Rygiel Supports for Community Living on the west Mountain. However, a second Rygiel outbreak is ongoing.

No date has been given yet for when the HHS immunization clinic will reopen for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s second doses, some of which started being administered on Jan. 18.

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The second doses will be stretched as far out as 42 days compared to the recommended 21. Only residents of seniors’ homes are expected to get the second dose on time. The second dose of the Modena vaccine will be give within the recommended 28 days.

So far 19,200 doses have been administered in Hamilton but public health can’t provide any kind of breakdown of who has received them. It also doesn’t know how many seniors are left to vaccinate in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes.

It’s significant because the province wants residents vaccinated by Feb. 5 and is diverting vaccine to make that happen.

Local public health said in a statement that no vaccine destined for Hamilton has been diverted so far.

It has blamed the lack of data on the province.

“It’s a complete lack of transparency,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “Why all the secrecy?”

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Alberta company begins human clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate – Campbell River Mirror

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Human clinical trials have begun in Toronto for a proposed COVID-19 vaccine made by a Canadian company.

Providence Therapeutics of Calgary says 60 subjects will be monitored for 13 months, with the first results expected next month.

The group of healthy volunteers aged 18 to 65 have been divided into four groups of 15. Three of the groups will get three different dose levels, while a fourth group gets a placebo.

Pending regulatory approval, the company’s CEO Brad Sorenson says a larger Phase 2 trial may start in May with seniors, younger subjects and pregnant people.

Providence uses messenger RNA technology for a product it calls PTX-COVID19-B.

Sorenson says if successful, the vaccine could be released by the end of the year.

“We are thrilled to begin human clinical trials of PTX-COVID19-B. Having a made-in-Canada solution to address the global COVID-19 pandemic will augment the reliability of vaccine supply for Canadians, contribute to the global vaccine supply and position a Canadian company on the global stage as a contributor to the solution,” Sorenson said Tuesday in a release.

The Canadian Press


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Alta. COVID-19 numbers back to early-Dec. levels, health-care system still under strain: Hinshaw – CTV News Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
Although more than 11,000 Albertans have been fully immunized for COVID-19 and infection and hospitalization rates are falling, officials are warning the province’s health-care system is still stressed.

In total, the province has administered more than 101,000 shots since December, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said Wednesday.  

That afternoon, Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 459 new cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, labs conducted some 12,800 tests, leaving Alberta with a positivity rate of 3.6 per cent.

Hospitalizations, too, have dropped – but, Hinshaw said, not enough to significantly reduce the strain on Alberta’s health care system or justify easing restrictions.

Of news that several more businesses were defying public health orders with support of their local community and leadership, Hinshaw said the action could jeopardize Alberta’s recent progress.

“What I would say to those leaders is to think about not just what they see in front of them in their own town but to look at the province, and to recognize that every action that we take as individuals has repercussions and connections to our own communities and to the communities around us. And unfortunately, what we saw in the fall is that when we did take early targeted steps to try to minimize risk but not have businesses close, we continued to see our cases climb,” Hinshaw said.

She reminded the public that on Dec. 30, Alberta’s COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked at 943 people. Of those, 155 were in ICUs.

On Wednesday, Hinshaw said, 604 Albertans were in hospitals with the disease, 110 of whom were in intensive care units.

But the numbers are only on par with those seen on Dec. 4.

“This is encouraging news, and a signal that we are making meaningful progress,” Hinshaw said.

“We saw our health-care system come very close to a tipping point. We want to avoid that and we need to make sure that we are taking slow measured steps.”

She added Alberta Health was working on a “framework” that would help Albertans keep track of the metrics that would trigger more reopenings.

VARIANT, VACCINE UPDATE

There are 8,203 active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta.

To date, more than 112,500 Albertans have recovered from the disease.

With the addition of 12 more deaths on Wednesday, the province’s death tally rose to 1,599.

Hinshaw had no update on Alberta’s so far single, unsourced B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant case, for which officials have found no transmission outside the person’s household.

“The knowledge that this particular variant of concern has been showing up in some other provinces and other countries around the world as a part of community transmission is concerning, and it does need to be factored into our decisions about timing of reopening,” Hinshaw told reporters. “Because if we do enable more activities, more opportunities for people to be in close contact with one another, we could potentially see quicker spreads if the variant is here in more locations than we currently are aware of.”

According to the latest data, reported at the beginning of the week, Alberta labs have confirmed 25 cases of the B.1.1.7 and 501Y-V2 strains first identified in the U.K. and South Africa. All but the one case have been linked to international travel.

Officials are calling immunization a key component of Alberta’s ability to prepare for any spread of two new strains, but say the work is hampered by vaccine supply delays.

Hinshaw said some Albertans who are eligible for a second dose may not yet have been given an appointment because the province is waiting to confirm its supplies arriving in two weeks.

However, she said the goal was to still administer all second shots within the maximum interval tested.

“While I can’t say with certainty at this point, what I can say is that everything possible will be done to provide that second dose to all who have had the first dose within that 42-day period.”

The top doctor asked for all those waiting to remain patient with the system and province. 

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