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'Safe in their care': Evacuees describe life under quarantine at CFB Trenton –



Canadian citizens and permanent residents airlifted from Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, have settled in to life under quarantine at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario.

The 290-room Yukon Lodge, about 170 kilometres east of Toronto, was built for military personnel and their family members. But for the next two weeks, it will host the hundreds of people who were evacuated from China.

Public health officials called for those returning to be quarantined to remain under the eye of doctors, and to prevent the spread of the virus in Canada.

“I’m getting used to it,” said Myriam Larouche, a 25-year-old graduate student from L’Ascension, Que., about life under quarantine. 

WATCH: Myriam Larouche on life under quarantine

Canadian graduate student Myriam Larouche gives a tour of the room she is staying in while under quarantine at Yukon Lodge on CFB Trenton. 0:55

Larouche landed at Trenton on Friday in the first of two groups. The first, with 174 evacuees, was a plane chartered by the Canadian government. The second, which carried 39 Canadians out of Wuhan, was an American flight.

Another Canadian plane is now on its way to pick up others who have asked to return from China.

The rooms for evacuees at the Yukon Lodge are typical hotel rooms, with basic furniture, bathrooms, TVs and WiFi. Staff deliver drinks and hot Canadian Forces-issued boxed meals to the rooms.

Watch: Kai Huang gives a tour of his room

Ottawa resident Kai Huang gives a tour of the room he and his mother are staying in while under quarantine at Yukon Lodge on CFB Trenton. 0:42

There are laundry facilities on site and, to the surprise of some, the guests are allowed to venture outside into a restricted area for exercise and fresh air.

They’re even allowed to interact with other evacuees, although they’ve been told to stay at least two metres away from each other and to avoid physical contact.

“It’s just so good to have human interaction,” said Larouche. “Finally, I get to see another person who is in the same situation as me.”

Public health officials provide health checks at least once a day, she said

WATCH: Kai Huang describes the food at Yukon Lodge

Ottawa resident Kai Huang describes the food provided to people quarantined at a motel on CFB Trenton. 0:51

Larouche says the quarantine is similar to what she experienced in China, although the main difference is that there is clear communication from Canadian officials and an end in sight.

“In China I didn’t have any answers. I didn’t know for how long it was going to be. I didn’t know what would happen after,” she said.

“Now I’m here, I know that it’s only 14 days. I know that I have people taking care of me. I know what’s going to happen after.” 

Kai Huang, an Ottawa resident who returned with his 78-year-old mother, said the room he is staying in is comfortable. His temperature is being checked regularly.

“We feel very good,” Huang, 50, said. “We feel safe in their care.” 

Less than a week ago, Huang was concerned if his mother would make it back to Canada. Neither Huang nor his mother, a permanent resident, were on the list of evacuees for the first flight. But they both got on the second, U.S.-chartered flight.

Now, he said he spends his days communicating with people on WeChat and listening for news from Wuhan.

When Huang leaves his room, he wears a mask. He also keeps his distance from the other evacuees.

WATCH: Myriam Larouche and other evacuees outside on CFB Trenton

Canadian graduate student Myriam Larouche describes her experience spending time outside the Yukon Lodge while under quarantine with hundreds of others evacuated from Wuhan, China. 0:19

Being with his mother makes quarantine easier, Huang said, but it’s difficult being away from his wife and two children.

The whole experience, from being under lockdown to being in quarantine, is a life experience he’ll never forget, he said. 

“In 12 days, we will see my wife, my daughter, my son,” he said. “And our life will be back to normal.”

Huang said the first thing he’ll do once he gets home to Ottawa is shovel snow. But before that, Huang said he plans to hug and kiss his family before taking them to dinner.

“I miss them,” he said. “And they miss us too.”

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Wolf found dead by roadside, another still missing after ‘suspicious’ B.C. zoo escape



ALDERGROVE — One of the wolves that escaped its enclosure at the Greater Vancouver Zoo this week has been found dead on a roadside, and a second wolf is still missing, the zoo’s deputy general manager said Thursday.

Menita Prasad said both the zoo’s perimeter fence and the grey wolf enclosure were deliberately “compromised” early Tuesday, allowing the zoo’s nine adult wolves to escape while five cubs stayed inside the enclosure.

All but two of the adults were contained within the zoo’s property, she said.

The zoo in Aldergrove, B.C., has been shut for three days as workers and conservation officers searched for the wolves, while Langley RCMP investigate the incident as a suspected case of unlawful entry and vandalism.

The fences had been cut, Prasad said. An earlier statement from the zoo said the escape was “suspicious, and believed to be due to malicious intent.”

Searchers were “heartbroken” to find a three-year-old female wolf, Chia, dead by the side of 264 Street in Aldergrove on Thursday morning, Prasad told a press conference through tears.

It’s presumed Chia was hit by a car, she said.

A one-year-old female wolf named Tempest is still missing and believed to be in the vicinity of the zoo, Prasad said, adding that the animal, which was born at the facility, has a slim chance of surviving in the wild.

Prasad described Tempest as a “shy wolf” who poses no threat to public safety, though she said she could not say what the wolf might do if a person approached her. She urged anyone who sees the animal not to approach her and instead call authorities to report the location.

The wolf’s prime motivation would be to get back to her family, she said.

“As a result of this senseless act, our wolf pack has lost two family members,” Prasad said. “We watched these wolves grow up. We consider the animals at the zoo a part of our family.”

She said the “search and rescue operation” would continue and is asking for the public’s help “to reunite Tempest with her family.”

“She is a small wolf with grey brown puppy fur and white markings on her muzzle and her brow,” Prasad said.

Anyone who spots Tempest is asked contact the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Langley RCMP or the BC Conservation Officer Service by calling 1-877-952-7277.

The zoo, which is about 55 kilometres outside Vancouver, is set to reopen on Saturday, Prasad said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 18, 2022.


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COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Canada stable, but higher than past summers – Global News



COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths and confirmed case counts across Canada are relatively stable after an early summer wave, but they remain far higher than past years, data shows.

As of Wednesday, Canada is seeing an average of 3,475 lab-confirmed cases and 44 deaths per day, according to provincial and territorial data compiled by Global News. Currently, 5,158 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 305 patients who are in intensive care.

While those numbers are down slightly from the brief wave of infections in June and July, they remain far higher than the rates seen during the summers of 2020 and 2021.

In past years, there was an average of roughly 350 patients in hospital per day during the summer months. Even as hospitalizations climbed in August 2021 and into September of that year, they peaked at half the current rate.

The current death rate has also vastly eclipsed past summers, when the average number of deaths per day was in the single digits.

Previous evidence pointed to the summer months as predictable lulls in the pandemic, as people spend more time in outdoor spaces where there is less transmission of the virus.

But the more infectious Omicron variant upended that thinking, and further mutations — including the current BA.5 subvariant and its predecessor, BA.2 — have led to more waves of infections this year than in the past.

Read more:

‘We cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week’: WHO warns on rise in COVID fatalities

The World Health Organization warned on Wednesday that BA.5’s dominance has led to a 35 per cent increase in reported COVID-10-related deaths globally over the past four weeks.

In the last week alone, 15,000 people died from COVID-19 worldwide, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“There is a lot of talk about learning to live with this virus, but we cannot live with 15,000 deaths a week. We cannot live with mounting hospitalizations and deaths,” he said at a press conference.

“We cannot live with inequitable access to vaccines and other tools. Learning to live with COVID-19 does not mean we pretend it’s not there. It means we use the tools we have to protect ourselves and protect others.”

Click to play video: 'COVID guidelines for fall: Expert urges Canadians to look out for flu as well'

COVID guidelines for fall: Expert urges Canadians to look out for flu as well

COVID guidelines for fall: Expert urges Canadians to look out for flu as well

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has said the country is in a period of pandemic transition that will likely lead to further waves this year, warning back in June that COVID-19 “has not left the stage.”

Public health officials have shifted their focus toward a potential serious wave in the fall and winter. Planning is underway to provide vaccine booster doses to all adults that request one, while ensuring vulnerable populations receive an extra dose.

Experts say the boosters are important, as current vaccines do not sufficiently protect against Omicron and its subvariants, allowing for “breakthrough cases” and even reinfections among vaccinated people.

“However, there is evidence that if you have the vaccine, more than likely you don’t end up in the hospital,” said Dr. Horacio Bach, an infectious disease researcher and assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.

“People (infected with COVID-19) will say, ‘It’s just kind of a flu, that’s okay, I’ll stay home.’ That is the result of the vaccines.”

Click to play video: 'Expert says Canada can expect a spike in COVID-19 variants cases during fall and winter'

Expert says Canada can expect a spike in COVID-19 variants cases during fall and winter

Expert says Canada can expect a spike in COVID-19 variants cases during fall and winter

The Public Health Agency of Canada notes that between June 6 and July 3 of this year, unvaccinated cases were three times more likely to be hospitalized and four times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to vaccinated cases.

Tedros urged everyone who has access to a booster dose to get one, and to continue to wear masks when it is impossible to keep distance from others.

As of Monday, 86.1 per cent of the Canadian population has received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, while 82.4 per cent have received at least two doses. Yet just under half — 49.7 per cent — have gotten at least one more booster dose.

Despite hospitalizations nationally remaining relatively stable, signs are emerging that more patients are being admitted with symptoms.

Hospitalizations are on the rise in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec, according to the most recent updates. Most provinces besides Quebec have shifted to reporting data weekly, while Saskatchewan is due to release its first monthly report on Thursday.

To date, provinces and territories have confirmed more than 4,125,000 cases of COVID-19 including 43,471 deaths.

— With files from Rachel Gilmore

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Commercial bankruptcies rising in Canada, says business lobby group – CBC News



A small business lobby group says commercial bankruptcies are rising in Canada and even more small businesses are at risk of closure.

Statistics Canada data shows small business insolvencies have been on an upward trend since May 2021.

But the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says its own survey data indicates only 10 per cent of Canada’s small business owners would file for bankruptcy if their business was no longer solvent.

It says 46 per cent of business owners say they would simply stop operating rather than go through the bankruptcy process.

The CFIB also says more than one in six Canadian small business owners say they are currently considering going out of business.

The lobby group wants government support to help Canada’s small business sector get through the next few months and deal with challenges like pandemic-related debt and supply chain issues.

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