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Seven residents of Bobcaygeon long-term care home die following COVID-19 outbreak – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



Public health officials say nine residents of a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon have died following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at the facility.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit said the residents lived at Pinecrest Nursing Home and passed away after a respiratory outbreak was declared at the facility on March 18.

Officials said three residents and 24 staff members have tested positive for the virus but testing has not been conducted on another 35 residents who experienced symptoms following the outbreak.

Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, the medical officer of health for the local public health unit, said last week that additional tests were not conducted because they “already had confirmation that the virus was in the home.”

“This outbreak of COVID-19 is currently the largest outbreak in the province and really brings home how devastating and deadly this virus can be for older people in our communities,” Noseworthy said.

“I am asking everyone to do everything they can to stop the spread of this virus – if not to protect yourself but to protect others who need our care.”

Public health officials say of the 33 cases of COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes, 27 are related to the long-term care facility. 

Dr. Michelle Snarr, the medical director of Pinecrest Nursing Home, told CTV News Monday that in addition to the nine residents who have passed away, the wife of a resident at the nursing home has also died of the virus.

“It’s overwhelmingly sad,” Snarr said in an interview with CTV News. “Once we heard it was COVID, we all knew it was going to run like wildfire through the facility.”

Snarr said she sent a message to the families of the residents earlier this month to inform them of the grim situation.

“The reason I sent the email was to give them a heads up that this is not normal times,” she said.

“Under normal times, we would send people to the hospital if that was the family’s wishes, but we knew that was not going to be possible knowing that so many people were going to all get sick at once and also knowing the only way to save a life from COVID is with a ventilator and to put a frail, elderly person on a ventilator, that’s cruel.”

Snarr said COVID-19 patients typically spend 11 to 21 days on a ventilator.

“Every day you are on a ventilator, you lose muscle mass, you lose weight. The longer this goes on, you are going to develop bedsores,” she noted.

“Dementia is permanently worsened by even something as simple as a regular pneumonia…to endure that… their quality of life after would just be abysmal.”

Snarr said she believes there will be more fatalities related to the outbreak.

“Not all the residents are sick, which makes me hopeful,” she said. “But certainly we are going to lose more.”

‘This is truly a horrible time,’ administrator says

In a news release issued last week, the local public health unit said after the outbreak was declared, staff followed “all proper procedures” to contain the virus.

Sick staff went into self-isolation at home and arrangements were made for them to be tested for the virus, officials said.

Residents were isolated, all group activities were suspended, meals were no longer served to residents in the dining room, and the facility was closed to visitors.

Staff who were asymptomatic began wearing protective equipment, but officials say given the incubation period of COVID-19, many employees and residents were likely already infected with the virus.

“This is truly a horrible time for the families and friends of the residents, as well as our staff,” Mary Carr, the administrator of Pinecrest Nursing Home, said in the news release.

“We have a number of medically fragile and vulnerable people living in our home; our residents are like family to our staff. Our sympathies go out to all of the families and friends of the people we have lost.”

In an updated statement sent out Monday, Carr said the facility is “working closely” with their local public health unit and the province to limit the spread of the virus.

“Our team members are dedicated professionals, trained in infection, prevention and control strategies and they will continue to focus on keeping our residents, families and team members safe,” Carr’s written statement read.

“We actively monitor and screen our residents to determine if they are showing any of the related symptoms and take necessary precautions if they do. We also actively screen all our team members every time they enter our building, and they are encouraged to self-monitor at home and are not permitted to come to work if they are feeling unwell.”

Only “essential visitors” have been permitted in the building, she added.

“Our residents and staff have shown incredible resilience during this difficult time and we truly appreciate the support we have received from the community,” Carr said.

Jessica Echeverri, whose grandmother is a Pinecrest resident, posted about the outbreak on Facebook, saying that her family is “devastated by this illness.”

“This tragedy will haunt the community forever. There are many loved and respected people who live there,” she wrote.

“The public may look at this case and think that these residents contracted this terrible virus because of their age, which may be true, but I urge them to consider if they would want to be the person who gave it to someone there, directly or indirectly.”

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Merrilee Fullerton, Ontario’s minister of long-term care, called the outbreak in Bobcaygeon “tragic.”

“My heart is going out to everyone that has been affected by this,” she said. “We are looking to learn as much as we can about what unfolded in Bobcaygeon.”

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Hundreds of scientists say coronavirus is airborne, ask WHO to revise recommendations –



Hundreds of scientists say there is evidence that the novel coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect people and are calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

The WHO has said the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or speaks.

In an open letter to the United Nations agency, which the researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined the evidence showing smaller particles can infect people, the NYT said.

The WHO did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Whether carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze, or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may glide the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled, the scientists said, according to the NYT.

WATCH | Many questions about how and when COVID-19 is transmitted, WHO says:

The World Health Organization says there still is much to be learned about how people catch the coronavirus, including the impact of asymptomatic transmission. 3:03

However, the health agency said the evidence for the virus being airborne was not convincing, the NYT wrote.

“Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence,” Dr. Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead of infection prevention and control, was quoted as saying by the NYT.

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Today's coronavirus news: 70 Canadian troops' plane turned around mid-flight due to infection fears; two Americans charged in Ontario for Quarantine Act violations; Canada begins testing thousands of – Toronto Star




  • 5:13 p.m.: Canadian troops en route to Latvia forced to turn around after COVID-19 scare.

  • 3:12 p.m.: Two Americans have been charged for violating the Federal Quarantine Act.

  • 1:33 p.m.: City of Torono issued 3 tickets Saturday related to parks.

  • 12:07 p.m.: Two new cases in P.E.I. linked to local man who returned from Nova Scotia

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

5:13 p.m.: A military plane carrying Canadian troops to Latvia was forced to turn around and return home because of concerns those on board might have been exposed to COVID-19.

The Polaris aircraft carrying about 70 military members and aircrew took off from Canadian Forces Base Trenton on July 2 after those on board had spent two weeks in quarantine at the Ontario base, Defence Department spokeswoman Jessical Lamirande said.

All military personnel deploying on overseas missions are required to undergo such quarantine measures as the Canadian Armed Forces has implemented strict measures to ensure troops do not carry COVID-19 to another country or spread the illness among their unit.

Yet despite those precautions, the plane was forced to turn around in midair after the military got word that someone at CFB Trenton who may have come in contact with the plane and passengers had tested positive for the illness.

“The health and well-being of our members and that of our allies and partners in Latvia is a priority,” Lamirande said in a statement. “As such, the decision was made to return the aircraft en route — rather than land in Latvia.”

Those on board will now have to undergo another 14 days in isolation at the base before resuming their mission, though Lamirande played down any potential impact the delay would have on Canada’s mission in Latvia.

Canada has 540 troops in Latvia, where they form the core of a 1,500-strong multinational battlegroup established by the NATO military alliance three years ago. Similar battlegroups led by Britain, Germany and the U.S. have been established in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland, respectively.

4:10 p.m.: Leaders in two of Texas’ biggest cities are calling on the governor to empower local governments to order residents to stay home as the state’s continued surge in confirmed cases of the coronavirus tests hospital capacity.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that he wants Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott to return control to local governments. He says hospitals are facing a crisis and that ICUs could be overrun in 10 days.

In the Houston area, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who is also a Democrat, says a stay-at-home order is needed.

Texas reported its highest daily increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday with 8,258.

3:12 p.m.: Two Americans have been charged for violating the Federal Quarantine Act.

On June 24, a 66-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman from Minnesota entered Canada at the border connecting International Falls, Minn., and Fort Frances, Ont.

Canada Border Services Agency told the man and woman to drive directly to their destination and quarantine for 14 days, but Ontario Provincial Police say they were observed making stops in Fort Frances.

Police say they are charged with failure to comply with an order prohibiting the entry into Canada and face a fine of $1,000.

2:46 p.m.: For the first time ever, Lebanon on Sunday hosted its annual music festival in the ancient northeastern city of Baalbek without an audience, a move organizers dubbed “an act of cultural resilience” to the global coronavirus pandemic as well as the country’s unprecedented economic crisis.

Held amid soaring Roman columns, the Baalbek International Festival was founded in 1956. This year, it’s being broadcast on local and regional TV stations and live-streamed on social media in an effort to spread “unity and hope.”

“We could not have an audience, since it is impossible to bring 2,000-3,000 people to Baalbek amid the coronavirus precautions, so we decided to bring Baalbek into people’s homes,” Nayla de Freige, the festival’s president, told the local LBC TV station.

The festival’s website said this year’s program, entitled “Sound of Resilience,” was “one of the first big cultural events and a premiere in the Middle East after the confinement due to COVID-19.”

The dramatic setting — a massive Roman forum — was always part of the festival’s magic. Sunday’s concert was held at the Bacchus Temple, which stands in front of six columns that remain from the Temple of Jupiter. The ruins date back to the second and third centuries.

Lebanon is currently being shaken by a severe economic and financial crisis, made worse in recent months by the coronavirus and lockdown restrictions. The financial crisis is rooted in decades of systematic corruption and mismanagement by Lebanon’s ruling elite, who critics say refuse to reform despite a nationwide uprising that erupted last October and a rapidly deteriorating economy.

1:55 p.m.: Quebec is reporting eight additional deaths due to COVID-19.

The province now has reported 5,574 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, but only one of those reported today is considered a new death.

Authorities say the other seven newly reported deaths occurred before June 27.

The province also reported 79 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 55,863.

On Saturday, the province had crept up over 100 daily cases for the first time since June 20. The number of hospitalizations and intensive-care cases decreased slightly for a total of 371 and 26 patients, respectively.

1:33 p.m.: As residents gather during hot weather, the City of Toronto is reminding everyone that alcohol consumption is not permitted in parks, beaches or public spaces. Fines are $300 as part of enforcement in beaches and parks.

The city says it received 69 complaints related to parks and issued three tickets on Saturday but these weren’t related to alcohol.

Since July 1, the city has “provided education to nearly 1,900 individuals which includes education on alcohol laws and other orders.”

“While visiting a beach or park, residents must practise physical distancing and avoid crowding,” a spokesperson said. “Provincial orders restricting gatherings of more than 10 people who are not members of the same household remain in effect.”

1:05 p.m.: The numbers in Florida get bigger and bigger.

It took three months, from early March to June 22, for Florida to cross 100,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases. It took less than two weeks for the state to go from 100,000 to 200,000 cases — and the positive test rate keeps rising.

The 10,059 confirmed new novel coronavirus cases from Sunday’s Florida Department of Health update, the third highest single-day total, behind Saturday and Thursday, shot the state’s pandemic case number to 200,111.

While there’s been an increase in testing over the last week, there’s also been a massive leap in the positive test rate. The average daily positive test rate from July 21 through Jun 27 was 9.94 per cent. The average for the next seven days: 14.47 per cent.

Another 29 deaths were reported around the state Sunday, bringing that total to 3,832.

1:02 p.m.: U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has been better than expected so far, and it won’t be necessary to extend an emergency unemployment program that ends this month.

“We are doing well, we do need to be careful about the virus but I am just optimistic,” Scalia said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s really important to again remember how much better than projected we’ve done so far.”

“Spending, retail spending, consumer spending generally, new home starts, all of these have been actually very encouraging economic indicators over the last about six weeks or so,” Scalia said.

As lawmakers prepare to resume talks about another round of stimulus later this month, President Donald Trump’s calls for tax relief —including a potential payroll tax cut —could be “an important part” of bringing more people back to work, said Scalia, a member of the White House coronavirus task force.

But the $600 weekly unemployment benefit established as part of the first round of stimulus shouldn’t be part of the next package, Scalia said.

“As we reopen the economy I don’t know that we need a benefit like that,” Scalia said. There will likely be a “lot of discussions toward the end of the month” between the White House and lawmakers about the next round of stimulus measures, he said.

12:07 p.m.: Prince Edward Island is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 linked to a positive case that was reported Saturday.

The province’s chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, says the two new cases had contact with a P.E.I. man in his 20s who had travelled to Nova Scotia. That man had interacted with someone who had been in the United States and was asymptomatic when he returned to the province on Monday.

Morrison says the two new cases are men in their 20s. She says the risk of community spread remains low.

P.E.I. reported three new cases of COVID-19 Saturday for the first time in more than two months.

11:03 a.m.:

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 11:01 a.m.:

There are 105,455 confirmed cases in Canada.

Quebec: 55,784 confirmed (including 5,566 deaths, 25,280 resolved)

Ontario: 35,794 confirmed (including 2,689 deaths, 31,266 resolved) (The Star does its own tally and will be updating this story later today. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, by the Star’s count, cases were up a total of 117 since Friday evening.)

Alberta: 8,259 confirmed (including 155 deaths, 7,532 resolved) British Columbia: 2,947 confirmed (including 177 deaths, 2,608 resolved)

Nova Scotia: 1,064 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

Saskatchewan: 796 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 711 resolved)

Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 302 resolved), 11 presumptive

Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 162 resolved)

Prince Edward Island: 30 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

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Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 1 presumptive

Total: 105,455 (12 presumptive, 105,443 confirmed including 8,676 deaths, 69,173 resolved)

11:02 a.m.: Iran on Sunday instituted mandatory mask-wearing as fears mount over newly spiking reported deaths from the coronavirus, even as its public increasingly shrugs off the danger of the COVID-19 illness it causes.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei publicized an image of himself in a mask in recent days, urging both public officials and the Islamic Republic’s 80 million people to wear them to stop the virus’s spread.

But public opinion polling and a walk through any of the streets of Tehran show the widespread apathy felt over a pandemic that saw Iran in February among the first countries struck after China.

On June 30, Iran saw its highest single-day reported death toll of the pandemic with 162 killed.

The new rules require those in Tehran’s subway, riding buses or indoors to wear them. The government said those seeking “public services” also will be required to wear a mask.

Read the story here.

10:49 a.m.: New York City is preparing for Phase 3 of the reopening process Monday, but without indoor dining.

The city, which suffered terribly in the spring from the virus., will allow nail salons, tattoo and massage parlours to reopen at 50 per cent capacity, ABC reports.

New York state was seeing almost 800 deaths a day at the virus’s peak but recent numbers have been in the single digits or low double digits.

9:52 a.m.: The U.K. government says selected sports stars are to be exempt from quarantine requirements when competing in England.

However, those involved will instead live and work in “bubbled” environments behind closed doors, U.K. culture secretary Oliver Dowden announced on Sunday.

The new measures will allow Formula One, international soccer, golf and snooker events to take place. Competitors involved in these events will be granted quarantine exemptions.

9:09 a.m.:The hard-hit Australian state of Victoria has recorded 74 new coronavirus cases after announcing a record 108 new infections on Saturday.

The Saturday increase resulted in state Premier Daniel Andrews announcing a lockdown of nine Melbourne inner-city public housing blocks containing 3,000 people, where 27 cases have been detected.

Police are guarding every entrance of the housing estates and residents are not allowed to leave their homes for any reason.

Andrews said the residents will have their rent waived for the next two weeks and will receive one-off hardship payments of between about $750 and $1,500 (Canadian). The government said it would arrange the delivery of food and medical supplies to all homes.

Australia had for months been largely successful in keeping the virus at bay.

7:45 a.m.: Israel ordered thousands of people into quarantine after a contentious phone surveillance program resumed while Palestinians in the West Bank returned to life under lockdown amid a surge in coronavirus cases in both areas.

A statement Sunday from Israel’s Health Ministry said “many” messages had been sent to Israelis following the renewed involvement of the Shin Bet domestic security agency. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that more than 30,000 people were notified they must enter quarantine since Thursday.

After imposing strict measures early on during a first wave of infections, Israel and the Palestinian territories appeared to have contained their outbreaks, with each reporting only a few dozen new cases a day in May. But an easing of restrictions led to a steady uptick in cases over the past month.

“We are in a state of emergency,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, adding that Israel would need to further clamp down to rein in the virus.

Israel is now reporting around 1,000 new cases a day, higher than its peak during the previous wave and it is set to reimpose restrictions in response, limiting occupancy in bars, places of worship and event spaces to 50 people. It is requiring citizens wear masks and has urged more stringent social distancing.

6:11 a.m.: The national immunity task force has started testing thousands of blood samples for COVID-19 antibodies and should be able to produce a more detailed picture of how many Canadians have been infected with the novel coronavirus within a couple of weeks.

It will be much longer, however, before we know more about what kind of protection against future infection having the antibodies provides, said Dr. Timothy Evans, executive director of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force.

Plus, said Evans, most of the people whose blood is being tested will not be informed of the results because of how the blood is being collected for testing.

“There won’t be an opportunity for individuals to find out their status,” said Evans, who is also director of the McGill School of Population and Global Health.

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified in January, while many others were sick but couldn’t get tested because provinces were limiting who could access the procedure until just a few weeks ago.

Evans also said a significant number of people get the infection and show no symptoms and will have no clue they were ever sick. Evans said immunity testing in other countries has suggested the actual infection rate is 10 to 20 times more than the number of confirmed cases.

Read the story here.

Saturday 8:32 p.m.: Mexico topped 30,000 COVID-19 deaths Saturday, overtaking France as the country with the fifth-highest death toll since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Officials reported 523 more confirmed coronavirus deaths for the day, bringing the nation’s total to 30,366 for the pandemic. Mexico’s total confirmed infections rose by almost 6,000 to 251,165, about on par with Spain, the eighth highest caseload.

Also Saturday, about 200 street vendors briefly blocked several major avenues in downtown Mexico City on Saturday to demand they be allowed to sell again amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday 6:47 p.m.: Officials across the U.S. pleaded with Americans to curb their enthusiasm for large Fourth of July crowds Saturday even as President Donald Trump enticed the masses with a “special evening” of tribute and fireworks staged with new U.S. coronavirus infections on the rise.

People wandered the National Mall in baking heat and took shade under the scattered trees while, not far away, music wafted from a party on the White House South Lawn. To come: the “Salute for America” celebration with Trump’s speech from the White House grounds, a military air show and a more ambitious fireworks display than has been seen in years.

The crowds on the Mall were strikingly thinner than the one gathered for last year’s jammed celebration on the National Mall. Many who showed up wore masks.

At the White House, several hundred invited guests assembled on the sweeping South Lawn, gathering around tables decorated with flowers and small U.S. flags as a military rock band played. Most guests were unmasked.

Trump’s guests were doctors, nurses, law enforcement officers and military members as well as officials from the administration, said Judd Deere, deputy White House press secretary. He said the event was a tribute to the “tremendous courage and spirit” of front-line workers and the public in the pandemic.

Saturday 5:30 p.m.: As of 5 p.m. Saturday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 37,675 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,733 deaths, up a total of 117 new cases since Friday evening, according to the Star’s latest count.

As has been the case in recent weeks, the vast majority of new cases were reported in a handful of health units. Only Windsor-Essex (35 new cases), Peel Region (25 cases), York Region (21 cases) and Toronto (20 cases) reported increases in the double digits. The 20 cases in Toronto were the fewest in any day since March 26.

Meanwhile, just two more fatal cases were reported — both in Toronto. The daily rate of deaths has also fallen sharply since peaking in early May when the health units reported as many as 94 deaths in a single day.

Earlier Saturday, the province reported 150 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, including 39 in an intensive care unit, of whom 26 are on a ventilator — numbers that are all near the lowest levels in data that goes back to early April.

The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of total deaths — 2,687 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

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Ontario logs 138 new cases of COVID-19, two deaths –



Ontario public health units reported 138 new cases of COVID-19 since Saturday, along with 183 recoveries, and two deaths, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,839. 

There were also 23,792 tests logged during that time, of the 1,527,114 conducted in the province to date. 

Of these active cases, 139 are currently hospitalized with the virus, including 39 in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), and 23 in the ICU on a ventilator. 

Among those active cases are 162 Long-Term Care (LTC) residents as well as 263 LTC staff, whose cases have been linked to 35 ongoing LTC home outbreaks. 

Since the pandemic began, 5,515 LTC residents and 2,321 LTC health care workers have recovered from the coronavirus, while 1,718 LTC residents and seven LTC health care workers have died from it. 

This data has contributed to a provincewide total of 35,794 cases since the pandemic began, of which 31,266 have presumably recovered, and 2,689 have died. 

Included in this total are the 342 cases confirmed in Northeastern Ontario to date, of which 312 have reportedly recovered, and 12 have died. A total of 89,586 tests have been conducted in the region, including 17,381 by Public Health Sudbury and Districts. 

The total number of COVID-19 cases, recoveries, and deaths reported by Northeastern Ontario health units are as follows:

  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts: 67 cases, 65 recoveries, two deaths
  • Northwestern Health Unit: 39 cases, 30 recoveries
  • Algoma Public Health: 24 cases, 24 recoveries
  • Timiskaming Health Unit: 18 cases, 18 recoveries
  • Porcupine Health Unit: 67 cases, 58 recoveries, 8 deaths
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 35 cases, 29 recoveries, one death
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit: 92 cases, 88 recoveries, one death 

Nationwide, there have been 105,522 confirmed and 12 presumptive cases of COVID-19 reported as of 12:38 p.m. on July 5, as well as 69,329 recoveries and 8,684 deaths.

Across the globe, there have been 11,125,245 cases and 528,204 deaths reported in 216 countries, areas, and territories, as of July 5 at 2:24 p.m. 

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