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Record number in intensive care as Manitoba announces 320 new COVID-19 cases on Friday – CBC.ca

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There are now more COVID-19 patients in Manitoba’s hospitals and intensive care units than ever before, the province’s top doctor says, after a week in which the number of people in hospital with the illness went up almost every day. 

That trend continued on Friday, when Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin announced 361 people hospitalized with COVID-19, up from 357 on Thursday.

The record 55 intensive care patients with COVID-19 — 43 of whom are on ventilators — make up just under half of Manitoba’s critical care patients, Shared Health Chief Nursing Officer Lanette Siragusa said at the conference.

“I cannot emphasize enough the impact that these COVID numbers are having on our staff throughout the system,” Siragusa said. “They are tired, they are fatigued, they are stressed by the changes and the intensity that is upon them.”

The province’s critical care program is now working at 161 per cent of its pre-pandemic capacity, she said.

Projections released Friday 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.

“It’s a scary thought to think about what would happen if we didn’t have the restrictions and if Manitobans weren’t doing their part,” Siragusa said.

Manitoba also announced on Friday that another 320 people have contracted COVID-19 and nine more have died.

The province’s latest coronavirus-linked deaths include a woman in her 50s from the Interlake-Eastern health region and four people linked to care home outbreaks across Manitoba, Roussin said.

There are now 134 intensive care spaces in Manitoba after a new 14-bed COVID-19 unit was added at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre Thursday night, Siragusa said.

Manitoba’s five-day test positivity rate — a rolling average of the COVID-19 tests that come back positive — is up slightly to 13.4 per cent, Roussin said. In Winnipeg, that rate dipped to 14. 6 per cent.

Two previously announced COVID-19 cases were removed from the province’s totals because of a data correction, Roussin said, bringing Manitoba’s total case tally to 18,069.

Of those, 8,535 are considered recovered from COVID-19, while 9,172 are still deemed active, though Roussin has previously said that number is inflated because of a data entry backlog.

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at the Brandon Correctional Centre, which has been moved to the critical red level on the pandemic response system, Roussin said.

The deaths announced Friday, which bring the province’s total to 362, include two women in their 90s linked to Brandon’s Fairview Personal Care Home, Roussin said. The most recent deaths also include two other people linked to outbreaks in Winnipeg: a woman in her 80s linked to Lions Manor Senior Housing and a man in his 90s linked to Holy Family Home.

The deaths of two Winnipeg men (in their 60s and 90s) and two people in the Southern Health region (a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s) were also announced Friday.

Most of the cases announced Friday (200) are in the Winnipeg health region, with another 54 in the Southern Health region, Roussin said. The remaining cases are spread out through the Northern Health region (30), the Prairie Mountain Health region (20) and the Interlake-Eastern health region (16).

Possible exposures to COVID-19 are listed by region on the province’s website.

There were 2,706 more COVID-19 tests done in Manitoba on Thursday, bringing the total completed in the province since early February to 365,707.

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BC rolls out COVID-19 Immunization Plan | Columbia Valley, Cranbrook, East Kootenay, Elk Valley, Kimberley, Ktunaxa Nation – E-Know.ca

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News of the COVID-19 vaccine brought light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Today the B.C. government provided marker points up the tunnel with hopes all British Columbians can be immunized by the end of September.

Premier John Horgan; Adrian Dix, Minister of Health; Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer; and Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts today announced details of the next phases in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan.

The plan will see approximately 7.4 million doses of vaccine administered to every British Columbian who is eligible to receive it between April and the end of September.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us all in extremely difficult ways,” Premier Horgan said. “Together, we have faced this pandemic with strength, courage and compassion, and we are starting to feel optimistic that, one day, COVID-19 will be in our rear view. At every step, our plan puts the health and safety of our most vulnerable people at the centre, and when it’s your turn, I encourage everyone to get their COVID-19 vaccine and help us move forward, together, to a healthier province.”

B.C.’s four-phased COVID-19 Immunization Plan is based on scientific evidence, as well as expert advice and guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, B.C.’s Immunization Committee and B.C.’s public health leadership committee, a joint Office of the Premier and Ministry of Health media release said.

The plan, which got underway in December 2020, starts by first immunizing those who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death, including long-term care residents and the health-care workers who care for them, remote and at-risk Indigenous communities, and seniors.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our province, with steady guidance by Dr. Bonnie Henry, has made decisions based on science, data and evidence from health experts,” Dix said. “Our plan puts people at the forefront of every decision, and our immunization rollout will guide us through the spring and summer, ensuring that those who are most in need of the vaccine will receive it as soon as possible.”

With each phase, more people in B.C. will be eligible to be immunized.

Phase 1 has had more than 103,000 people in B.C. receiving their first dose of vaccine and second doses are underway. Phase 2, starting in late February, expands immunizations to additional vulnerable populations, Indigenous communities and elders, health-care staff and all seniors over the age of 80. Together, these two phases are focused on people who are most at risk.

As age is the single greatest risk factor for severe illness and death, Phase 3, starting in April, will expand to include people between the ages of 79 to 75 and work backwards in five-year increments to include those age 60 and over. Also included in this phase are people with certain underlying health conditions that make them clinically extremely vulnerable.

It is important to note that no one will lose their place in line. For example, if an elderly relative is in Phase 2 and cannot be immunized at that time, they can be immunized at any point thereafter.

“This is an extraordinary time with what is now the most significant step on our path to protecting our communities and our health-care system,” Henry said. “For many months, British Columbians have been working hard to keep their friends, family and communities safe, and I want to thank everyone for their continued commitment.”

As additional vaccines are approved and become available, people who are front-line essential workers or work in specific workplaces or industries may also be able to start receiving vaccines later in Phase 3.

Phase 4 is anticipated to begin in July 2021 for the rest of the eligible population, starting with people aged 59 to 55 and working backwards in five-year age groups until everyone over the age of 18 who wants a COVID-19 vaccine receives it.

“We’re working closely with our regional health authorities, our colleagues at the BC Centre for Disease Control over these first several weeks of the plan,” Ballem said. “Moving ahead, we will reach out to other community, faith and business leaders throughout the province to ensure that, by working together, the deployment of these vaccines is done quickly and safely. Every immunization for COVID-19 is one step closer to a healthier future for us all, and that is why so much effort and thought has gone into this plan.”

Approximately four million British Columbians are eligible to receive the COVID-19 immunization. Starting in March 2021, pre-registration for the vaccine will begin to open online and by phone for the general public, starting with those aged 79 to 75. Those who are considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” will receive their immunization beginning in April. People who are pre-registered will get a reminder to book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.

Additional details on the registration process, registration timing and availability and immunization clinic locations will be available in the coming weeks.

e-KNOW

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Don't make plans' warns Henry in pleas to stem Family Day travel – Powell River Peak

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“We won’t be at a place where we can travel.”

That was provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s message Friday, January 22, responding to questions over whether the province’s plan to vaccinate 4.3 million people by October would open up non-essential travel to British Columbians over the next several months.

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“We know there are a lot of celebratory events coming up like Chinese New Year. We need those to remain low-key, virtual events this year,” she said.

Until at least the summer, Henry said travel should remain essential with a focus on staying local and “looking at experiencing what we have in BC for people in BC”

But on Thursday, premier John Horgan rejected calls for a ban on interprovincial travel, after seeking a legal review on a potential border lockdown to stem the transmission of COVID-19.

Finding that much of the current interprovincial travel is work-related, and therefore essential, it cannot be restricted, Horgan stated in a written statement.

Current public health orders require masks in public indoor spaces and limit social gatherings to a single household or “core bubble” until at least February 5 at midnight. They do not, however, restrict movement across the province.

“Public health officials tell us what is most important is for everyone to obey health orders, wherever they are, rather than imposing mobility rules,” he said. “Therefore, we will not be imposing travel restrictions at this time.”

On Friday, Horgan said his government would “be guided by the science.”

Pointing to his own affinity for attending lacrosse games as well as Canada’s 150th anniversary since confederation this summer, Horgan said, “We’re not making plans right now, and British Columbians shouldn’t be making plans right now.” 

“As we get more information, as the vaccination plan rolls out and we see the impact on case counts…we’ll be in a better position to make those decisions.” 

Horgan also said minister of environment and climate change strategy George Herman is working on a plan to open up campgrounds across the province for the summer season.

As Henry put it: “Once we get to the summer, we’re probably going to be in a different position. Whether we’ll have access to international travel? That is not as sure.”

She added: “We know that there are billions of people who do not have access to vaccinations and that this virus is still creating great risks in many communities around the world.”

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The Latest: New virus clusters hit China's north provinces – The Record (New Westminster)

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has reported its first coronavirus case outside of a quarantine facility in more than two months, although there was no immediate evidence the virus was spreading in the community.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said Sunday the case was a 56-year-old woman who recently returned from Europe.

Like other returning travellers, she spent 14 days in quarantine and twice tested negative before being returning home on Jan. 13. She later developed symptoms and tested positive.

He said health officials will conduct genome testing but are working under the assumption that the case is a more transmissible variant of the virus.

He said they are investigating to see whether its possible she caught the disease from another returning traveller who was staying in the same quarantine facility.

New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the virus, at least for now. Bloomfield said officials are ramping up contact tracing and testing efforts and hope to have more information about the case in the coming days.

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THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Year after lockdown, Wuhan dissident more isolated than ever

— UK doctors seek review of 12-week gap between vaccine doses

— Tunisia extends curfew, ban on protests as virus cases jump

— The entire University of Michigan athletic department is pausing after several positive tests for the new COVID-19 variant that transmits at a higher rate.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

BEIJING — A Chinese city has completed 2,600 temporary treatment rooms as the country’s north battles new clusters of the coronavirus.

The single-occupancy rooms in the city of Nangong in Hebei province just outside Beijing are each equipped with their own heaters, toilets, showers and other amenities, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Special attention has been paid to Hebei because of its proximity to the capital and the province has locked down large areas to prevent further spread of the virus. The provincial capital Shijiazhung and the city of Xingtai, which encompasses Nangong, have been largely sealed off. Community isolation and large-scale testing have also been enforced.

The National Health Commission on Sunday reported 19 additional cases in Hebei. The far northeastern province of Heilongjiang reported another 29 cases, linked partly to an outbreak at a meat processing plant. Beijing, where around 2 million residents have been ordered to undergo new testing, reported two new confirmed cases.

China currently has 1,800 people being treated for COVID-19, 94 of them listed in serious condition, with another 1,017 being monitored in isolation for having tested positive for the virus without displaying symptoms.

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SEATTLE — Washington and Oregon are now confirming additional cases of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 in the Pacific Northwest.

The Washington Department of Health announced Saturday that the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom last September, has been confirmed by DNA sequencing in two cases in Snohomish County. Those are the first confirmed cases in Washington.

The Oregon Health Authority confirmed a second case, in someone from Yamhill County, a week after the first case was detected in Multnomah County.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no conclusive evidence that it’s more severe than other strains of the virus.

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NEW YORK — New York will be sending more vaccination preparation kits to senior housing complexes and churches in an effort to ensure fairness in vaccine distributions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The kits include syringes, vials, room dividers, privacy curtains, cleaning supplies, personal protective gear and other items. They also include instructions on how to set up a vaccination site.

New York deployed the first kits last week to five New York City Housing Authority senior citizen complexes and eight churches and cultural centres where nearly 4,200 people eligible to receive the vaccine were vaccinated, Cuomo said.

Kits are now being sent to four additional New York City senior complexes and eight other churches statewide, with plans to vaccine another 3,000 people at those locations by Tuesday. Locations in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Buffalo will be receiving the kits.

The kits are part of an effort to ensure vaccinations in Black, Latino and other communities where COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact, the governor said.

Also Saturday, the governor’s office reported 144 more deaths statewide from the coronavirus. More than 8,800 people were hospitalized, a drop of 44 compared with Friday’s data.

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SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has denied a Southern California church’s request to overturn the state’s coronavirus restrictions barring worship services indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sacramento Bee says Friday’s ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals leaves the door open for addressing Gov. Gavin Newsom administration’s limits on church attendance if a California county is in a less-restrictive COVID-19 tier.

A three-judge panel ruled against South Bay United Pentecostal Church of Chula Vista over public health orders that restrict religious services from being held inside while virus case rates and hospitalizations remain high.

Currently in California, indoor worship services are banned in all purple-tiered counties — those deemed to be at widespread risk of coronavirus transmission. This tier accounts for the vast majority of the state. Just four counties are in less-restrictive tiers.

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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico on Saturday reported 859 additional COVID-19 cases and 38 more deaths.

That increases the state’s pandemic totals to 168,579 cases and 3,115 deaths.

Bernalillo County had the most additional cases with 184, followed by 83 in San Juan County, 74 in Dona Ana County and 53 in McKinley County.

Most of the additional deaths involved older New Mexicans, but they also included several people in their 20s and 30s.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

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RIO DE JANEIRO — The governor of Brazil´s Amazonas state has announced tough new lockdown measures to combat a surge in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed local hospitals.

Gov. Wilson Lima said Saturday that as of Monday, the state’s 4 million people can only go out for essential activities such as buying food or seeking medical attention.

Hospitals in the state capital of Manaus have been strained amid reports that a new variant of the novel coronavirus is more contagious, and the state has seen a shortage of oxygen supplies. The state health secretary says 584 people are on a waiting list for hospital beds, 101 of them requiring intensive therapy.

“People need to understand that we have to take tough measures to save as many lives as possible,” Lima said in an announcement posted on social media.

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HELSINKI — Norway says its capital, Oslo, and nine municipalities have been placed under strict restrictions to contain the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus first detected in Britain.

The Norwegian government said shopping centres and other non-essential stores in those regions were closed at noon on Saturday, and would remain shut at least until Jan. 31.

In addition, organized sports activities were halted, schools were ordered to rely increasingly on remote teaching and households were requested to not invite visitors home in those specified areas.

Norwegian health officials say the Scandinavian country of 5.4 million has so far identified some 55 cases of the virus variant which has spread widely in Britain.

Neighbouring Sweden, where the overall pandemic situation is substantially worse than in Norway, said late Saturday that it was planning to launch a temporary entry ban from Norway due to the new mutated form of COVID-19.

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LAS VEGAS — Federal prosecutors have charged a Nevada man with fraudulently obtaining about $2 million in federal coronavirus relief aid, meant for small businesses, to buy luxury vehicles and condominiums in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada accused Jorge Abramovs of bank fraud after he allegedly applied for funding to at least seven banks between April and June 2020.

The complaint said a financial analysis determined Abramovs spent the money on personal luxury items, including a 2020 Bentley Continental GT Convertible for more than $260,000 and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 for about $55,000.

Abramovs was ordered remanded in custody on Friday during a detention hearing.

A defence lawyer assigned to represent Abramovs didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request by The Associated Press for comment.

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CHICAGO — Restaurants and certain bars across Chicago and suburban Cook County have opened their doors to customers for the first time since late October after winning approval Saturday from Illinois health officials.

With the city and county moving up to Tier I of the state’s coronavirus mitigation plan, restaurants and bars that serve food can seat customers indoors at 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is less.

Tables will be limited to no more than four people indoors or six people outdoors, and tables must be spaced 6 feet apart. Indoor service will be limited to a maximum of two hours and bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m.

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden pledged in his inaugural address to level with the American people, and the message from his first three days in office has been nothing if not grim and grimmer.

He has painted a bleak picture of the country’s immediate future dealing with the coronavirus, warning Americans that it will take months, not weeks, to reorient a nation facing a historic convergence of crises.

The dire language is meant as a call to action, but it is also a deliberate effort to temper expectations. The U.S. is trying to roll out its vaccination program, with issues of slow production and distribution.

The U.S. leads the world with 24.8 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 415,000 deaths.

The Associated Press




































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