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Sask. Health Authority offers further warning about spread of COVID-19 – Estevan Mercury



The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is warning of an emergent COVID-19 situation in the southwest and west central areas of the province.

As a result of aggressive contact tracing and testing, the SHA has identified additional individuals with COVID-19 in southwest and west central Saskatchewan. Some of these individuals are linked to known chains of transmission and some individuals have no known source for their infection.

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This overall increased level of COVID-19 activity means there is an increased risk of transmission to the public in this part of Saskatchewan. 

As of July 15, the following rural municipalities and areas have increased risk of transmission of COVID-19:

  • City of Swift Current
  • Maple Creek (No. 111)
  • Auvergne (No. 76)
  • Biggar (No. 347)
  • Eagle Creek (No. 376)
  • Grandview (No. 349)
  • Harris (No. 316)
  • Kellross (No. 247)
  • Lac Pelletier (No. 107)
  • Newcombe (No. 260)
  • Perdue (No. 346)
  • Pleasant Valley (No. 288)
  • Prairiedale (No. 321)
  • Tramping Lake (No. 380)

Cases are on a number of Hutterite communities in these municipalities. There are also several other, unrelated increases in cases in these municipalities that are presenting an elevated risk.

The SHA is actively engaging with the Hutterian Safety Council, local Hutterite leaderships, local municipalities and the business community to ensure all necessary actions are being taken to mitigate as much as possible the further spread of the virus. 

The results of an additional 91 COVID-19 tests from residents in the southwestern and south central Saskatchewan area are expected tomorrow. In addition, more than 160 people are currently undergoing testing in southwest and south-central Saskatchewan.

It is expected that this will lead to case increases in the formal provincial daily COVID-19 case report in the days ahead.

The SHA is reminding Saskatchewan residents to follow public health orders to limit the spread of COVID-19 by maintaining physical distancing of two metres of separation, implement proper hand hygiene practices and limit the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings.

It is important that anyone with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, headaches, aches and pains, sore throat, chills, runny nose or a loss of sense of taste or smell, should protect themselves and others, especially the vulnerable, by staying home, self-isolating and getting tested for COVID-19.

Testing is also now universally available to anyone who requests it, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. A referral for testing can be made by contacting HealthLine 811.


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COVID-19 numbers in Peel Region continue downward trend –




Peel Region is showing its fifth straight day of declining new cases of COVID-19.

According to Government of Ontario data, Peel has 373 new cases today (Dec. 1). The daily trend downward began the day after a record 572 cases was reported on November 26.

Since then, each day has seen the number of new cases at 517, 516, 503, 390 and today’s 373.

In Peel, there are currently 4,298 active cases that are being dealt with by healthcare professionals. Since the pandemic began, 374 people have died here as a result of the virus.

Meanwhile, across Ontario there are 1,707 of new cases reported today. The most are in Toronto with 727 new cases. York Region has 168 cases. Case counts for other areas are not yet available today.

In Ontario there are 645 people hospitalized because of COVID-19, 185 are in intensive care units and 112 people are being ventilated. In the past day the virus has killed seven people in Ontario.

Numbers released by Queen’s Park differ from those given by Peel’s health department because of the way information is collected and the timeframe of the reporting period. As well, Peel’s numbers are typically two days behind Ontario’s reporting period.

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British Columbia reports 656 COVID-19 cases, 16 new deaths – Global News



Another 16 people in B.C. have died from COVID-19, the province reported Tuesday.

B.C. health officials also recorded 656 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 33,894.

The number of people in hospital rose by 20 to 336, a record high. Seventy-six of those patients are in intensive care, also an all-time high.

Monday’s three-day B.C. COVID-19 numbers with shocking total of deaths

Monday’s three-day B.C. COVID-19 numbers with shocking total of deaths

Tuesday marks the eighth straight day the province has recorded 10 or more coronavirus-related deaths. The province’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 457.

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‘Like nothing I have felt before’: B.C. COVID-19 survivor blasts virus deniers in online post

The number of active cases in the province dipped slightly to 8,796, and 10,123 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

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On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a total of 2,354 new cases, including all those diagnosed between Friday and Monday and another 277 historical cases added in a data correction.

Click to play video 'Another young B.C. COVID-19 victim warns it’s not just ‘another flu’'

Another young B.C. COVID-19 victim warns it’s not just ‘another flu’

Another young B.C. COVID-19 victim warns it’s not just ‘another flu’

Henry became emotional Monday as she expressed her condolences to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

Read more:
Canada added over 6,000 new coronavirus cases each day since Friday, new data shows

“These people have faces, have names, have stories, have families,” Henry said.

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“This tragedy is all of our tragedy and we all mourn their loss. If you are thinking it may be OK to bend the rules, please remember that this virus takes lives and it is the lives of those closest to us that are most at risk when we take risks.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Ontario's number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs climbs as Toronto reports a record 761 new cases – Toronto Star



The increasing number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 amid the relentless spread of the virus are signs Ontario will have to keep tightening pandemic restrictions.

That was the message from the president of the Ontario Hospital Association as admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care units approached 200, a level above which non-emergency surgeries are hampered.

“My sense is stronger measures are inevitable at the rate we’re going,” Anthony Dale said Tuesday as Ontario marked more than 1,700 new infections for the fifth straight day, as well as seven more deaths.

They fuelled a major jump in the closely watched seven-day average of cases, which surged by an even 100 to 1,670, an all-time high. Toronto alone reported a record 761 new cases, which medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa called a “blunt warning” of community spread.

With hospitalizations typically lagging new cases by several weeks, hospitals are expecting their number of COVID-19 patients to keep climbing — perhaps at a faster pace.

The Ministry of Health reported Tuesday that 27 more people were admitted to hospitals, bringing the total to 645, with at least 112 patients on ventilators, up from 91 a week ago.

A separate overnight survey found 26 more critically ill patients with COVID-19 were transferred to intensive care units, raising that total to 193.

That type of increase is “no surprise,” said Dr. Irfan Dhalla, an internist and vice-president at St. Michael’s Hospital, who noted this is “definitely not the time to be musing about relaxing restrictions.”

Health Minister Christine Elliott said Scarborough General Hospital is one of several hospitals that has had to postpone procedures because ICU beds are filling up.

“We know that there are some hospitals that are in the hot zones that are already having to shut down somewhat their non-emergency procedures,” she told reporters at a news conference Premier Doug Ford missed because of what his staff called an unexpected but “non-urgent” medical appointment.

“As tragic as it is to have lost a loved one to COVID, it would be equally tragic to lose someone because of a cancer surgery or a cardiac surgery that wasn’t performed in time,” Elliott said.

Elliott said more than 3,100 hospital beds have been added since March to help cope with the second wave of the pandemic as Ontarians await a vaccine next year.

The 28-day lockdown for Toronto and Peel Region is in place until Dec. 21 when it will be reviewed, with Ontario chief medical officer Dr. David Williams looking for indications that restrictions such as a ban on indoor dining and the closures of gyms, cinemas, hair salons and non-essential retailers are working.

Health experts have cautioned that lifting those restrictions in the week before Christmas could send the wrong signals about risks from the pandemic, lead to a mad dash of holiday shopping and a further spike in cases.

“Officials will look at the situation in areas that are locked down, see if we’re flattening or reducing the rate of community growth. They’ll look at areas that are not in lockdown but are at different levels in the provincial framework,” Dale said.

“If those trends are not in the right place or heading in the wrong direction, we’re hopeful they’ll take the aggressive action that, really, has been shown worldwide to be necessary if we’re to halt the spread of COVID-19.”

Epidemiologists and doctors have said any easing of restrictions should be tied to vigorous testing and the full ability of public health units to trace the contacts of people testing positive for the virus to keep it in check.

Provincial officials keeping an eye on computer modelling have warned that Ontario could hit 400 patients in intensive care units with weeks; when that number hits 350, non-emergency surgeries become almost impossible.



Another risk factor for hospitals is the number of outbreaks that are occurring within their walls because there are so many cases in the community, said Dale.

In London, University Hospital was hit so hard recently it had to close admissions to medical wards and cancel elective surgeries, with the added complication of an outbreak in its acclaimed organ transplant unit.

“It’s very sobering,” said Dale.



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