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Roussin calls for return to 'fundamentals' as COVID-19 cases climb – Winnipeg Free Press

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The chief provincial public health officer told Manitobans, “We’re losing sight of the fundamentals,” after the province recorded two troubling distinctions in its fight against COVID-19.

On Friday, Manitoba equalled its previous daily high of 40 new coronavirus cases and set a yet another new high-water mark for active cases (246).

Rather than cracking the whip with enforcement and restrictions, Dr. Brent Roussin said residents need to raise awareness and urged Manitobans to be “kind,” because we’re in this for the long haul.

“This isn’t just for another month or two, this virus is for another year or two,” he said during a media briefing. “We can’t rely on massive shutdowns to get through this.”

For the first time, the public health leader who hasn’t previously been a strong advocate of face coverings said: “All Manitobans should be ensuring they have access to a mask.”

Manitoba reported 25 new cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region. Many are close contacts of known positive tests in Brandon (that city’s active case count is now 90); some can’t be traced to another case, indicating the virus is spreading in the community.

Possible exposures may have occurred Aug. 7 at Sobeys grocery store in Brandon, Aug. 9 at the Cartwright Town and Country Club west of Cartwright, and Aug. 10 at the Minnedosa Hospital.

Officials said there’s still no sign of workplace transmission at Brandon’s Maple Leaf Foods Inc. plant, where 39 workers have now tested positive for COVID-19.

 

In the Winnipeg region, 10 new cases were reported Friday.

Many appear to be travel-related or close contacts of known cases who have since tested positive. However, there is community transmission of the virus in Winnipeg, too, as roughly 12 per cent of the cases are of “unknown acquisition.”

Dr. Brent Roussin urged people to go above and beyond public health guidelines, such as avoiding large gatherings, even though they're permitted.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Dr. Brent Roussin urged people to go above and beyond public health guidelines, such as avoiding large gatherings, even though they’re permitted.

Roussin called on Manitobans to follow the “fundamentals” of handwashing, physical distancing, getting tested and self-isolating as soon as possible if symptoms appear — and not waiting until they’ve potentially exposed more than 25 other people to the virus, as public officials discovered with some case investigations this month.

He urged people to go above and beyond public health guidelines, such as avoiding large gatherings, even though they’re permitted. “Is now the time we want to be getting together with 30 people when you can’t do physical distancing? Think about that.”

Individuals should be wearing face masks while doing errands indoors and shopping where physical distancing can’t be assured — even though such coverings are not mandated, he said.

Meanwhile, with the rising number of COVID-19 cases, it’s time for the province to accept what it is doing is not working, Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont said.

Telling people to return to the fundamentals does no good when some refuse to take COVID-19 seriously, refuse to wear masks, and ignore public health orders — including Premier Brian Pallister, Lamont said, taking a dig at the Tory premier who was caught not wearing a mandatory mask in the Toronto airport.

“This is not just a failure to communicate, this is a failure of leadership,” Lamont said.

 

Chart showing cumulative cases of COVID-19 by health district

Dr. David Butler-Jones, former head of the Public Health Agency of Canada, said he understands why Roussin is telling people to be kind, rather than cracking down on scofflaws and imposing restrictions.

“What you’re trying to do is build public consensus that it is the right thing to do, and it polices itself, in a sense,” said the Ottawa-based epidemiologist.

Peer pressure and education can help, he said. “It’s about gently reminding people, ‘It’s not just about you.'”

Such a mindset will pay bigger dividends in the long run than a crackdown, in which some get their back up and others feel pitted against one another or don’t get tested when they should, Butler-Jones said.

“The on and off again, open and shut down again – no one wants to go back to March and April. At the same time, clearly people are getting tired of this.” – Dr. David Butler–Jones

“The on and off again, open and shut down again — no one wants to go back to March and April,” he said. “At the same time, clearly people are getting tired of this.”

The goal is to convince people they have the power individually to control the surge in cases and can prevent such restrictions from being reimposed, he said.

“If we do behave this way of being cautious and prudent, this is totally in our control. We can, individually, make a big difference, collectively.”

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Reporter

Carol Sanders’ reporting on newcomers to Canada has made international headlines, earned national recognition but most importantly it’s shared the local stories of the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home.

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Quebec COVID-19 numbers continue to surge with 462 new cases reported – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
As three regions in the province prepare to have their alert level potentially raised from yellow to orange, Quebec public health authorities announced Sunday that 462 more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the province.

It is the second day in a row where the number of new cases has been over 400 after 427 people were reported to have tested positive Saturday.

The new cases brings the total number of cases in the province to 67,542.

The Island of Montreal accounted for 160 of the positive tests (31,309 total), while the Quebec City region reported 92 more cases (2,969 total), Monteregie reported 58 more cases (9,938 total) and Laval reported 32 more cases (6,668 total).

In the past 24 hours, one more person died due to the disease in addition to four people who died between Sept. 13-18. 

Officials reported two people died in the Chaudiere-Appalaches region, and one person died in Quebec City, Laval and Monteregie.

The total number of people who have died due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic is now 5,802.

The number of hospitalizations increased by seven Sunday to 138, and 31 of those patients are in the intensive care ward (the same number as on Saturday).

On Sept. 18, health-care professionals analyzed 28,725 samples which is 354 fewer than the number analyzed Sept. 17. (Quebec releases its testing data from two days prior to its daily updates).

 

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Nova Scotia's streak of no new COVID-19 cases reaches Day 13; zero active cases remain – CTV News Atlantic

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HALIFAX —
Nova Scotia’s number of active COVID-19 cases remains at zero; meanwhile, the province hasn’t announced a new case for 13 consecutive days.

On Sunday, the province reported that no new cases were identified on Saturday – a day which saw Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs complete 858 Nova Scotia tests.

CASE BREAKDOWN

To date, Nova Scotia has 87,428 negative test results, 1,086 positive COVID-19 cases and 65 deaths. No one is currently in hospital – 1,021 cases are now resolved.

Cases range in age from under 10 to over 90. Sixty-one per cent of cases are female and 39 per cent are male.

There are cases confirmed across the province, but most have been identified in the central zone, which contains the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The provincial government says cumulative cases by zone may change as data is updated in Panorama, the province’s electronic information system.

The numbers reflect where a person lives, and not where their sample was collected.

  •     Western zone: 55 cases
  •     Central zone: 910 cases
  •     Northern zone: 67 cases
  •     Eastern zone: 54 cases

 

STATE OF EMERGENCY REMAINS IN PLACE

On Friday, the province announced the provincial state of emergency, which was first declared on March 22, has been extended to October 4, unless the government terminates or extends it.

 

UPDATED LIST OF SYMPTOMS

The province recently reduced the number of COVID-19 symptoms for which health officials are screening.

The provincial government said the updated list of symptoms reflects the current epidemiology in Nova Scotia.

Anyone who experiences a new or worsening fever or cough, or two or more of the following new or worsening symptoms is encouraged to take an online test to determine if they should call 811 for further assessment:

  •     sore throat
  •     headache
  •     shortness of breath
  •     runny nose

 

SELF-ISOLATION

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is required to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who travels to Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic region is required to self-isolate for 14 days and must fill out a self-declaration form before coming to the province.

However, the province has eased some self-isolation requirements for out-of-province rotational workers.

Residents of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are not required to self-isolate when travelling to Nova Scotia, but they must be prepared to provide proof of their place of residency at provincial borders.

Visitors from outside the Atlantic region who have already self-isolated in another Atlantic province for 14 days may travel to Nova Scotia without having to self-isolate again.

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Region of Waterloo Public Health reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19 – KitchenerToday.com

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Region of Waterloo Public Health is reporting 18 new cases of COVID-19 on its information dashboard.

But due to ongoing data revisions, two additional cases were added to yesterday’s count, along with an additional case earlier this week.

The total number of cases is at 1,592 since March. 

Eighty-five per cent of all cases are considered resolved.

There are no additional deaths and no COVID-19 patients in hospital with the active caseload at 112. 

Outbreaks remain unchanged today, with six in effect in various settings.

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