Ontario families with schoolchildren will be under stricter rules starting Monday when it comes to screening their kids for COVID-19.
The province updated its COVID-19 screening tool on Friday to include changes to symptom screening criteria and sibling/household isolation information.
“Everyone in your household should stay home if anyone has COVID-19 symptoms or is waiting for test results after experiencing symptoms,” a statement on the government’s website says. “Stay home until the person with symptoms gets a negative COVID-19 test result, is cleared by public health, or is diagnosed with another illness.”
Ottawa Public Health told CTV News Ottawa by email that it is in the process of updating its own COVID-19 screening tool in time for Monday and that the updated criteria would be distributed to local school boards.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit (LGLDHU) said in a statement Friday night that the changes are in response to the threat of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs), such as the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the U.K., which has been spreading in Ontario.
“The presence of COVID-19 variants of concern (VOCs) in Ontario has prompted the province to make changes to the guidelines for self-isolation, and changes to the school and childcare screening tool. The VOCs cause COVID-19 to spread more easily from one person to another, and the goal with these changes is to stop/slow the spread of VOCs to the greatest extent possible to prevent new COVID-19 infections and mitigate impacts on hospitals and the healthcare system,” the LGLDHU said.
The health unit said school staff, students and children with any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19, even those with only one symptom, must stay home without exemption until:
- they receive a negative COVID-19 test result and symptoms are improving with no fever, and they are feeling well enough to go to school, OR
- they receive an alternative diagnosis by a healthcare professional, OR
- it has been 10 days since their symptom onset and they are feeling better.
Single symptom screening was in place in early September when in-person schooling returned following the first wave of COVID-19. In Ottawa, many families waited for hours in long lines for a COVID-19 test for their children. The province later allowed children with only a single symptom of COVID-19, such as a runny nose or sore throat, to return to school 24 hours after symptoms resolve without needing a negative test result.
Testing capacity has increased since September and the province has moved to an appointment-based system. The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce says Ottawa’s assessment centres are open and have capacity to test kids who are symptomatic or who are identified as a high-risk contact and that “same-day or next-day appointments are frequently available.”
Recent rapid asymptomatic testing of Ottawa’s school population resulted in less than one per cent of students testing positive.
Canada allows Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12-15
(Corrects headline and lead to make clear that Canada was not the first nation as stated by Canadian officials, adds context from Pfizer in fourth paragraph)
By David Ljunggren
OTTAWA (Reuters) –Canada is authorizing the use of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged 12 to 15, the first doses to be allowed in the country for people that young, the federal health ministry said on Wednesday.
Supriya Sharma, a senior adviser at the Canadian federal health ministry, said the Pfizer vaccine, produced with German partner BioNTech SE, was safe and effective in the younger age group.
“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she told reporters.
Sharma and a health ministry spokesman said Canada was the first country to grant such an approval, but a Canadian representative for Pfizer later said Algeria permitted use of the vaccine for this age group in April. The Canadian health ministry said it had no information about the discrepancy.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to take a similar step “very soon,” U.S. health officials said.
Separately, authorities reported the third death of a Canadian from a rare blood clot condition after receiving AstraZeneca PLC’s’s COVID-19 vaccine. The man, who was in his sixties, lived in the Atlantic province of New Brunswick.
Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health in New Brunswick, said the province would continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine. Alberta reported a death from clotting on Tuesday and Quebec announced one on April 27.
“There will be rare cases where thrombosis will occur. However, the risks remain minimal compared to the risks, complications and potential consequences of COVID-19,” Russell told reporters.
Canada‘s federal government has bought tens of millions of doses of vaccines but critics complain the pace of inoculation is lagging due to bottlenecks in the 10 provinces, which are responsible for administering the doses.
Alberta will become the first province to offer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone aged 12 and over from May 10, Premier Jason Kenney said on Wednesday, a day after he introduced tighter public health measures to combat a third wave of the pandemic.
Alberta, home to Canada‘s oil patch, has the highest rate per capita of COVID-19 in the country, with nearly 24,000 active cases and 150 people in intensive care.
Around 20% of the 1,249,950 cases of COVID-19 in Canada have been reported in people under the age of 19. Canada has recorded 24,396 deaths.
(Additional reporting by Allison Martell in Toronto and Nia Williams in Calgary;Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Sonya Hepinstall)
Younger people filling up COVID-19 intensive care
By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA (Reuters) –COVID-19 infections continue to spread fast across the Americas as a result of relaxed prevention measures and intensive care units are filling up with younger people, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on Wednesday.
In Brazil, mortality rates have doubled among those younger than 39, quadrupled among those in their 40s and tripled for those in their 50s since December, Carissa Etienne said.
Hospitalization rates among those under 39 years have increased by more than 70% in Chile and in some areas of the United States more people in their 20s are now being hospitalized for COVID-19 than people in their 70s.
“Despite all we learned about this virus in a year, our control efforts are not as strict, and prevention is not as efficient,” Etienne said in a virtual briefing from Washington.
“We are seeing what happens when these measures are relaxed: COVID spreads, cases mount, our health systems become overwhelmed and people die,” she said.
Canada continues to report significant jumps in infections in highly populated provinces such as Ontario as well as in less populated territories of the North and Yukon, home to remote and indigenous communities, according to PAHO.
Puerto Rico and Cuba remain significant drivers of COVID-19 cases in the Caribbean, which is facing a new surge of the virus, PAHO directors said.
Cases are rapidly accelerating in the Guyanas and across Argentina and Colombia, where weekly case counts are five times higher today than they were this time last year and hospitals are reaching capacity in large Colombian cities.
In Central America, Guatemala is seeing significant spikes in cases and Costa Rica is reporting record-high infections.
While vaccines are being rolled out as fast as possible, they are not a short-term solution because they are in short supply, said Etienne, the World Health Organization’s regional director.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Alberta confirms first death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine
Reuters) -The province of Alberta reported its first death of a patient from a rare blood clot condition after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, its chief medical officer said.
Canada has reported at least five cases of blood clots following immunization with the vaccine, but public health officials maintain the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the potential risks.
The Alberta case, of a woman in her 50s, marks the second case of blood clots, and the only death after more than 253,000 doses of AstraZeneca were administered in the province, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in a statement on Tuesday.
“While any death is tragic, it is important to remember that the risks of dying or suffering other severe outcomes from COVID-19 remain far greater than the risk following AstraZeneca vaccine,” Hinshaw said.
AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.
Canada has had 1,243,242 confirmed coronavirus cases and 24,342 deaths, according to a Reuters tally
Last month, the province of Quebec reported Canada’s first death of a patient after receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
AstraZeneca, working with the vaccine’s inventor Oxford University, was one of the leaders in the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Its cheap and easily transportable shot was hailed as a milestone in the fight against the crisis, but has since faced a series of setbacks.
The rare complication, which some regulators including Health Canada are calling Vaccine-Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia, involves blood clots accompanied by a low count of platelets, cells in the blood that help it to clot.
Dozens of countries paused the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March after reports of rare, but serious, blood clots. Several of them have now resumed use either fully or with restricions after health regulators said the benefits of the shot outweigh any risks.
(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander and Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Angus MacSwan)
Canada sends medical supplies to India as COVID-19 overwhelms country’s health care – Global News
Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Wednesday – CBC.ca
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada for Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – moosejawtoday.com
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
News18 hours ago
G7 mulls a message to China
News8 hours ago
Canada taken to court over COVID policy that pushes asylum-seekers to U.S.
Economy19 hours ago
Canadian dollar slips as seasonal trade shifts in favor of greenback
Economy19 hours ago
Bank of Canada Governor May 5 appearance at Senate committee canceled
News7 hours ago
Alberta toughens COVID-19 restrictions
Economy7 hours ago
Surging Demand for Gold Leaves Mints in Need of Supply
Economy3 hours ago
Canadian dollar posts three-year high as risk appetite climbs
Health5 hours ago
Alberta confirms first death linked to AstraZeneca vaccine