The Saskatchewan Health Authority is expanding COVID-19 testing criteria to include anyone who works outside of their home.
The new testing guidelines will come into effect on May 25.
The new testing guidelines will include:
- Anyone working outside of the home, including people currently working or anyone returning to work as part of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan.
- Immunocompromised people not showing symptoms.
- Any patients being admitted into acute care hospitals for more than 24 hours, including expectant mothers.
- Vulnerable populations.
- Mobile worksite testing for anyone working in high-volume settings like factories.
Currently, testing is available for people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, anyone who has come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, any being admitted into a long-term care home, and anyone working or living in a care home if someone in the facility has tested positive for the virus.
People will still be referred to testing by calling HealthLine 811.
SHA bringing back some services
As the SHA starts to offer some health care services in Saskatchewan, it’s reminding people the system won’t look like it did before the pandemic.
On Wednesday, the SHA said waiting rooms will change to promote physical distancing. The health care system is also emphasizing virtual care where possible and increasing screening at health care facilities.
The changes may cause some delays for people needing care, but the SHA says they’re necessary to keep people safe.
Surgical patients will be contacted by their physician directly if their procedure is included in the expanded “urgent six week” surgeries.
Effective reproductive number
Saskatchewan’s effective reproductive number, which shows the average number of people one person infected with COVID-19 is likely to infect, currently sits at 1.87 in the province’s far north and north regions.
In the rest of the province, it sits at .62.
The SHA says an effective reproductive number below 1.0 means the virus is being managed effectively by people following public health measures.
Source: – CTV News
Edited BY Harry Miller
New Brunswick reports one new case of COVID-19 at nursing home as tests and calls to 811 spike – CTV News
Another resident of Manoir de la Vallee, a long-term care home in Atholville, N.B., has tested positive for COVID-19.
New Brunswick public health said Tuesday that the person is in their eighties. The new case increases the number of active cases to 13 – all of them stemming from a doctor who travelled to Quebec for personal reasons and failed to self-isolate upon his return. Five of the 13 new cases are residents at Manoir de la Vallee.
The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 133, but 120 had recovered before the Campbellton cluster emerged.
Five patients are hospitalized with one in an intensive care unit. As of Tuesday, 30,666 tests have been conducted.
“We are pleased to see how all our partners have come together to help us manage the situation,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health. “We have 14 days ahead of us to see how things unfold. In the meantime, I ask New Brunswickers to continue to demonstrate their compassion, kindness and patience throughout the province.”
For many health-care workers and Campbellton residents, it’s going to be a long 14 days as they wait and see how many more people will be infected by the most recent outbreak.
About 5,000 people in that zone have been tested since Friday and 300 are self-isolating.
“I would say the majority of them have been tested, but even if they tested negative, they still have to remain home for the next 14 days,” said Dr. Russell. “We’ve seen cases where the person tested negative in the morning and then they tested positive that evening.”
As for the doctor, Vitalite Health Network said last week that the doctor has been suspended and on Tuesday, the college of physicians and surgeons says no further action has been taken yet — but acknowledged the rumours in a statement:
“There has been no action on his license because he was suspended by the hospital and consequently can’t practice anyway. Nor is there an urgent need for us to act on our own, but we are keeping an eye on things, trying to distinguish between reality and fiction.”
There was also a reminder from health officials that New Brunswick’s borders are not completely closed.
In May, an average of 5,600 vehicles crossed every day during the week.
About 90 were turned away because their travel was deemed not essential.
“The problem is, if somebody does something dumb and goes off to some other place where they shouldn’t be and gets infected, you can’t legislate against that,” said Ken McGeorge, an advisor with the Special Care Home Association. “But you have to keep re-enforcing and the special care homes are doing a good job at that.”
Calls to 811 have spiked
Calls to 811 have spiked since Thursday, but despite the increase in testing, public health says there are enough testing kits to go around.
As of Monday 133 tickets have been issued for non-compliance with the state of emergency order. Fines range between $200 and $10,000.
Anyone showing two of the following symptoms should contact Tele-Care 811 or their primary health-care provider for further direction:
- fever above 38 C or signs of fever (such as chills);
- new cough or worsening chronic cough;
- sore throat;
- runny nose;
- new onset of fatigue;
- new onset of muscle pain;
- loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell; and
- in children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.
You can do an online self-assessment to help determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.
You can also get up-to-date information about COVID-19 on this page of the provincial government website.
Two new COVID-19 outbreaks in BC offices | New West Record – The Record (New Westminster)
New COVID-19 outbreaks have been discovered in the past 24 hours at Abbotsford’s New World Technologies and Delta”s Maersk Distribution Canada, B.C.’s provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said June 2.
She described both of these outbreaks as being in offices. Both workplaces have two cases, and public health teams are at both sites to investigate and determine which people may have had contact with the infected individuals.
The new outbreaks come on what was otherwise a relatively good day, given that there were no new deaths in the last 24 hours, and a spate of outbreaks at seniors’ homes and at an acute-care ward at Abbotsford Regional Hospital are newly declared over.
Henry said that outbreaks are declared over at North Vancouver’s Amica Edgemont Village, Vancouver’s Royal Arch Masonic Home, Maple Ridge’s Chartwell Willow Retirement Community, and Chilliwack’s Eden Care Centre. That means that no new cases have been discovered at those facilities in the past 28 days, or two incubation periods.
This leaves eight active outbreaks at seniors’ care facilities, all of which are long-term care residences. Two of those homes are in Vancouver Coastal Health, while six are in the Fraser Health region. No new cases of COVID-19 have been discovered at any of those homes in the past 24 hours.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said that while the good news on fewer seniors’ home outbreaks and no new deaths is promising, the new outbreaks at businesses show that COVID-19 is alive and well in B.C. and “requires vigilance.”
B.C. recorded four new cases in the past 24 hours of the virus that has caused a global pandemic, and a total of 2,601 cases.
The breakdown of all COVID-19 infections by health region is:
• 904 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 1,311 in Fraser Health;
• 127 in Island Health;
• 195 in Interior Health; and
• 64 in Northern Health.
Of all of those who have been infected, 165 have died, 207 are battling illness and 2,229 have recovered.
Most of the 207 people with active illnesses are self-isolating at home, although 31 of them are in hospital, with eight of those in intensive care units.
Dix shared other good news that was part of his weekly update on personal protective equipment. Two separate independent labs in the past week have confirmed lab test results done at the University of British Columbia that showed that respirators that B.C. has bought from a new manufacturer in China has exceeded necessary standards.
“This is excellent news for two reasons,” Dix said. “We have a significant inventory of this product – three million respirators in B.C., and now [we] are assured that the product is safe and effective for our healthcare workers. And, the availability of this equivalent product will reduce our reliance on the traditional 3M respirators that have been extremely difficult to procure due to global demand and supply-chain issues.”
The government has not yet introduced the equivalent respirators for use in the healthcare system because officials have wanted to take time first to communicate with workers about the new product, and to ensure that the respirators are tested to ensure that they fit all employees who may need to wear them, Dix said.
“The significant boost of three million N95-equivalent respirators puts us in good stead as we ramp up our health system, catch up on scheduled surgery volumes and prepare our province for a potential second wave of COVID-19,” he said.
Overall, B.C. has acquired more than four million N-95 or equivalent respirators, about 4.5 million surgical masks, 27 million pairs of gloves, 1.3 million gowns and 1.25 million pieces of eye protection, including goggles and face shields.
1 new COVID-19 case detected in Atholville long-term care facility – CBC.ca
A new case of COVID-19 has been linked to a long-term care facility in Atholville.
New Brunswick announced one new case of the respiratory infection Tuesday, linking it to the previous four resident cases detected in Manoir de la Vallée.
The new case is a person between 80 and 89 years of age, in Zone 5 or the Campbellton region, said a news release.
There are now 13 active cases of COVID-19 in the Campbellton region. Public Health has previously linked the outbreak to a doctor who travelled to Quebec and didn’t self-isolate for the mandatory 14 days when he returned.
The number of people in hospital has increased from four to five. One person is in intensive care.
The other affected residents of Manoir de la Vallée include three people in their 80s and one in their 70s from the 18-bed Alzheimer’s unit.
A staff member from the facility has also tested positive.
The province has conducted 30,666 COVID-19 tests to date, including 2,204 tests in the past 24 hours.
A provincial news release says if you or a member of your family are showing two of the following symptoms, contact Tele-Care 811 or your primary health-care provider for further direction:
- Fever above 38°C or signs of fever (such as chills).
- A new cough or worsening chronic cough.
- Sore throat.
- Runny nose.
- A new onset of fatigue.
- A new onset of muscle pain.
- Loss of sense of taste or loss of sense of smell.
- In children, purple markings on the fingers or toes. In this instance, testing will be done even if none of the other symptoms are present.
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