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Sask. sees 42 new COVID-19 cases, 31 in the South region – CKOM News Talk Sports



The south region in Saskatchewan continues to see more COVID-19 cases.

In the Saskatchewan government’s update on Thursday, when 42 new cases of the virus were reported, 31 of those cases are in the south region.

Six of the new cases are in the central region, four are in the Saskatoon region and one is in the north.

This is the highest one-day number of cases recorded in Saskatchewan. The previous high was May 4, when 34 cases were reported.

Of the 923 total cases, 114 are considered to be active. A total of 794 people have recovered and 15 people have died.

There have been 339 cases from the far north, 204 in the Saskatoon area, 121 from the north, 115 in the south, 85 in the Regina area and 59 from the central region.

In a release, the Ministry of Health said there is a growing number of COVID-19 positive cases and rising level of transmission within communities and communal living venues in the southwest and west-central Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Health Authority CEO Scott Livingstone said during a media conference if a community wants to have the health authority on site to do testing, it will provide that opportunity.

“Once we are invited onto the colonies, and working with the Hutterian leadership to help support the work that they are doing, it’s not just testing those folks with symptoms but it’s going door to door and doing assessment with aggressive contact tracing,” Livingstone said in the province’s media update.

“Going door to door is much more successful. It allows us to identify cases early on (and) do aggressive contact tracing so within 48 hours we have 90 per cent of contacts traced. It’s a lot easier to do that in a contained community environment.”

While some cases have links to communal settings, it is crucial to note there are also several other, unrelated cases in the geographical area. This overall increased level of COVID-19 activity means there is an increased risk of transmission to the public.

Rural and Remote Health Minister Warren Kaeding said as of now, no new restrictions will be put in place but conversations are ongoing.

“We look at the northwest and the northwest had asked for (the extra restrictions) to occur in their communities and we were able to respond. Right now with the limitations we’ve got in place with the limitations we’ve put into long-term care, we’re going to monitor how this is unfolding,” Kaeding said.

As a result of an increased risk of COVID-19 in the southwest and west-central areas of Saskatchewan, visitation at Cypress Regional Hospital, long-term care homes and personal care homes in the area will be temporarily restricted.

Eleven people are in hospital, the highest hospital count yet. Nine people are receiving inpatient care — seven in Saskatoon, one in the south and one in the north. Two people are in intensive care; one in Saskatoon and one in the south.

With the southwest being a popular spot for travellers to spend their vacation, Livingstone said people need to be aware we are living with COVID on a daily basis.

“We just need to make sure people are reminded of the fact we’re still in a pandemic,” he said. “We still know how to best contain that disease and that is through public health restrictions, proper hand hygiene, social distancing (and) wearing a mask where you can do that.

“It’s always important for folks to be diligent and aware of what’s going on and even more so during the summer months as we enjoy being outside and at the same time, living with this virus that is going to be with us for months.”

Livingstone said the SHA has relied on people to adhere to the public health restrictions and coming for testing whether or not they have symptoms.

“As we have opened things up and have changed the rules, I’m not sure there’s more lack of adherence or just simply a matter of the fact that we’ve changed the rules,” he said.

“In many situations, it’s people living their day-to-day lives and still living with COVID. I’m not aware of any situation like a beach or, for example, the rallies that were held earlier on in June where people were not abiding by (social-distancing rules) where we had an influx of cases.”

Of the 923 cases in the province:

  • 504 are community contacts (including mass gatherings);
  • 180 cases are travellers;
  • 134 have no known exposures; and,
  • 105 are under investigation by local public health.

There were 1,157 new tests over the past 24 hours. To date, 78,851 COVID-19 tests have been performed in Saskatchewan.

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



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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B.C. COVID-19 vaccine plan: Who gets priority and what is the schedule? – Global News



B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said she is hoping to roll out a COVID-19 vaccine in the province in the first week of January.

Henry said Thursday there will only be enough for people in priority groups to start, including vulnerable seniors and health-care workers.

Read more:
B.C. reports 694 new COVID-19 cases and double-digit deaths for 10th consecutive day

“We are planning to be able to put vaccines into arms, and the first week of January is what we’re planning for to make sure we are absolutely ready, by then at the very least,” Henry said.

She expects there will be two vaccines available to start — the Pfizer vaccine, which is under review right now by Health Canada, and the Moderna vaccine, which is currently in the process of obtaining notice of compliance in Canada.

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Henry said it is expected that Canada will get about six million doses of the vaccine and those will be distributed across the country.

Federal government, provinces and Canadian Armed Forces ramp up COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan

Federal government, provinces and Canadian Armed Forces ramp up COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan

The Canadian military has been brought in to help figure out how the vaccine is going to be distributed and administered and the deep freezers needed to store the vaccine are set to be plugged in and ready to use by Dec. 14.

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However, it will be up to the provinces to decide who is at the front of the line.

“Our first priority is to make sure we are protecting those who are most at risk,” Henry said Thursday, namely “our seniors and elders in our communities and long-term care homes and in hospitals, here in B.C.”

“Once we have more vaccine available, we will be making it available to all of us in B.C. And that’s when we can get to that point of managing and controlling this pandemic.”

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Read more:
Support for mandatory coronavirus vaccine keeps falling even as cases spike: Ipsos

Henry added they are expecting more vaccine doses to be available by April, 2021, and that by Sept. 2021, everyone who wants a vaccine will have received one.

“So, we expect there will be a good lot of people who will be immunized by the summer and through the fall next year, but by the end of the year, anybody who wants vaccine in B.C. and in Canada should have it available to them and should be immunized,” Henry said.

More details on the rollout plan in B.C. are expected to be released next week.

Click to play video 'British Columbians divided over mandatory vaccinations'

British Columbians divided over mandatory vaccinations

British Columbians divided over mandatory vaccinations

It seems British Columbians are still divided at this time on whether or not they will get the vaccine when it becomes available.

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Henry said Wednesday the province does not have a mandatory vaccine program and health officials do not expect COVID-19 immunizations to be mandatory.

Last week, polling done exclusively by Ipsos for Global News showed a drop in support for a mandatory vaccine since the beginning of the month, when it stood at 61 per cent.

That support now stands at 59 per cent, a total drop of 13 percentage points since May 2020.

Read more:
A coronavirus vaccine is almost ready. But will you take it?

As well, even though 59 per cent said they would support mandatory vaccination, more than 70 per cent also said they feel nervous about taking a vaccine that was created and rolled out so quickly.

Sixty-nine per cent cited the potential for long-term effects as a major concern.

Click to play video 'Tackling vaccine hesitancy amid fight to end COVID-19'

Tackling vaccine hesitancy amid fight to end COVID-19

Tackling vaccine hesitancy amid fight to end COVID-19

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

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Facebook to remove COVID-19 vaccine-related misinformation –



LONDON – Facebook said Thursday it will start removing false claims about COVID-19 vaccines, in its latest move to counter a tide of coronavirus-related online misinformation.

In the coming weeks, the social network will begin taking down any Facebook or Instagram posts with false information about the vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.

The U.S. tech giant is taking action as the first COVID-19 vaccines are set to be rolled out. Britain this week became the first country to give emergency authorization for a vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, and innoculations could start within days. Regulators in the U.S., the European Union and Canada are also vetting vaccines.

Facebook said it’s applying a policy to remove virus misinformation that could lead to “imminent physical harm.“

Posts that fall afoul of the policy could include phoney claims about vaccine safety, efficacy, ingredients or side effects.

“For example, we will remove false claims that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips, or anything else that isn’t on the official vaccine ingredient list,“ the company said in a blog post.

Conspiracy theories about the vaccines that are already known to be false will also be removed.

Facebook has taken other steps to try to stop the spread of vaccine and coronavirus-related misinformation on its platform. From March to October, it has removed 12 million posts with coronavirus-related misinformation. The deleted posts include one by President Donald Trump with a link to a Fox News video of him saying children are “virtually immune” to the virus.

In October, the company banned ads discouraging vaccinations, though it made an exception for advocacy ads about government vaccine policies. The company has also promoted articles debunking COVID-19 misinformation on an information centre.

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