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Six new cases of COVID-19, province reports – HalifaxToday.ca

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NEWS RELEASE
COVID-19/HEALTH/WELLNESS
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As of today, Dec. 5, Nova Scotia has 95 active cases of COVID-19. Six new cases are being reported today. 

Four of the new cases are in Central Zone and two cases are in Eastern Zone. All are under investigation.

“As we get into the holiday season, weekends are usually filled with friends, family and shopping, but this year must be different,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We need to limit our social contacts and non-essential travel, and follow all the other public health protocols. That is how we protect each other and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Nova Scotia Health Authority’s labs completed 1,410 Nova Scotia tests on Dec. 4.

Yesterday there were 276 tests administered at the rapid-testing pop-up site in Halifax. There were no positive test results identified at the site.

Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 74,664 tests. There have been 275 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital. Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. One hundred and eighty cases are now resolved. Cumulative cases may change as data is updated in Panorama.

“It is encouraging to see new case numbers go below the double-digits we have been seeing but it is too soon to relax now,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We must remain diligent and continue to follow public health orders and advice so we can keep our citizens safe.”

Visit https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to do a self-assessment if in the past 48 hours you have had or you are currently experiencing:
— fever (i.e. chills/sweats) or cough (new or worsening) 

Or:
Two or more of the following symptoms (new or worsening):
— sore throat
— runny nose/nasal congestion
— headache
— shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

Call 811 if you cannot access the online self-assessment or wish to speak with a nurse about your symptoms.

When a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed, public health works to identify and test people who may have come in close contact with that person. Those individuals who have been confirmed are being directed to self-isolate at home, away from the public, for 14 days.

Anyone who has travelled outside of Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days. As always, any Nova Scotian who develops symptoms of acute respiratory illness should limit their contact with others until they feel better. 

It remains important for Nova Scotians to strictly adhere to the public health order and directives – practise good hand washing and other hygiene steps, maintain a physical distance when and where required. Wearing a non-medical mask is mandatory in most indoor public places.

Rules concerning interprovincial travel within Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador have changed. The premiers of all four Atlantic provinces are cautioning against non-essential travel into neighbouring provinces. Currently, all non-essential travel into Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador requires a 14-day self-isolation. All public health directives of each province must be followed. Under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act order, visitors from outside Atlantic Canada must self-isolate for 14 days unless they completed their self-isolation in another Atlantic province.

Nova Scotians can find accurate, up-to-date information, handwashing posters and fact sheets at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus .

Businesses and other organizations can find information to help them safely reopen at https://novascotia.ca/reopening-nova-scotia .

Quick Facts:
— testing numbers are updated daily at https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus
— a state of emergency was declared under the Emergency Management Act on March 22 and extended to Dec. 13
— online booking for COVID-19 testing appointments is available for Nova Scotians getting a test at all primary assessment centres or at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax 

Additional Resources:
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus

Government of Canada information line 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)

The Mental Health Provincial Crisis Line is available 24/7 to anyone experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis, or someone concerned about them, by calling 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free)

Kids Help Phone is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free)

For help or information about domestic violence 24/7, call 1-855-225-0220 (toll-free)

For more information about COVID-19 testing and online booking, visit https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/

The COVID-19 self-assessment is at https://covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in B.C. for Jan. 20 – CBC.ca

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THE LATEST:

  • As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 465 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths.
  • There are currently 4,331 active cases of the coronavirus in B.C.
  • 329 people are in hospital, with 70 in the ICU.
  • 92,369 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C. 
  • There are no new health-care facility outbreaks.
  • The number of cases linked to the Big White Mountain community cluster has grown by 28.

B.C. health officials confirmed 465 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and said 12 more people had died of the disease.

In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 329 people, 70 of whom are in intensive care.

A total of 1,090 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

B.C. recorded no new outbreaks in health-care facilities. 

Interior Health also confirmed there are now 28 additional cases of COVID-19 linked to the Big White Mountain community cluster — bringing the total to 203 since the cluster was declared. Of the 28 new cases, 22 reside and work at Big White.

B.C.’s current health restrictions are in effect until at least Feb. 5 at midnight. The current orders include a ban on gatherings with people outside of one’s immediate household.

Henry said in a news conference on Monday that if B.C.’s case count continues to trend downward, there is a possibility some restrictions could be lifted by the Family Day weekend in mid-February.

A non-existent flu season

Health officials in B.C. have not detected a single case of influenza circulating in the community since flu season began, continuing an “exceptional” nationwide trend.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) confirmed the non-existent seasonal flu numbers to CBC News on Monday.

“It’s still a big goose egg in terms of influenza detection provincially. It’s really quite exceptional how low the influenza activity is,” said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, the lead for influenza and emerging respiratory virus monitoring at the BCCDC. 

B.C. ‘prepared’ for vaccine delays

The federal government on Friday announced Pfizer is temporarily reducing shipments of its vaccine in order to expand manufacturing capacity at a facility in Belgium. The move means there will be fewer shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccing coming to Canada until at least March.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday he’s still confident the country is on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by September.

Henry called the delay a “setback” that will temporarily slow the province’s delivery of the vaccine to at-risk people. But she said the province is working to ensure the highest number of people are immunized.

READ MORE:

  • The B.C. government should tighten restrictions on travel from other Canadian provinces to curb the spread of COVID-19, a global health expert said Tuesday.
  • British Columbia’s health minister says the province is still on track to begin administering second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine despite the news that no vials will be delivered to Canada next week.
  • A man and woman have each been fined for not wearing masks after they coughed in the direction of customers at a gym just steps from Vancouver police headquarters.
  • Health officials in B.C. have not detected a single case of influenza circulating in the community since flu season began, continuing an “exceptional” nationwide trend even as the province sits in the thick of its regular flu season.
  • Despite a significant short-term gap in deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he’s still confident the country is on track to vaccinate every Canadian who wants a shot by September.
  • The Vancouver School Board is getting a failing grade from some parents who say their children aren’t getting enough class time in high school.

What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 9 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Canada had reported 719,465 cases of COVID-19, and 18,266 total deaths.

A total of 71,055 cases are considered active.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Loss of taste or smell.
  • Headache.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they’re mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or o​​​​​​ther extreme symptoms should call 911.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government’s website.

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COVID-19 in B.C.: Youth cases increase, six more foreigners test positive, health violations, and more – Straight.com

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Case numbers continue to remain steady or are decreasing in several categories, while the number of deaths remains concerning.

In addition, there has been an increase in cases observed among young people, and there have been a number of incidents involving health order violations.

When B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry was asked at yesterday’s briefing about cases among young people, she said that they have seen an increase in cases among youth over the last few weeks, “particularly when school ended in mid-December”.

She said they have been watching these cases carefully to try and figure out what contributing factors are, and she said most of the cases appear to be related to transmission within households and in small groups.

She said that all children who have been in intensive care units have recovered.

She that so far, B.C. has had five multi-inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) cases and all of these young individuals have recovered. She addd that she will provide more MIS-C data later this week.

For more information about MIS-C, visit the B.C. Children’s Hospital or B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) websites.

Once again, the B.C. government has extended the provincial state of emergency, this time until February 2.

Today, Emergency Management B.C. stated that 693 violation tickets were issued between August 21 and January 15, which includes:

  • 119 fines of $2,300 each to owners or organizers for gatherings and events;
  • 26 violation tickets for $2,300 each for violating food and liquor orders;
  • 548 tickets of $230 fines each to individuals who refused to comply with law enforcement.

Since the pandemic began, police agencies in B.C. have issued a total of 85 violation tickets to individuals who violated the federal Quarantine Act, for total of $93,466 worth of fines.

Today, the Vancouver Police Department stated that a couple—a 60-year-old man and his 25-year-old girlfriend—each received fines of $230 for walking through a gym near False Creek without masks and coughing in the direction of people and equipment.

In addition, West Vancouver police, in response to a complaint about a loud late-night party, issued a $2,300 fine to a 40-year-old man hosting several individuals at a business for breaking provincial public health orders on gatherings and events.

In Prince George, RCMP were informed on January 13 that guests staying at the Ramada Plaza Hotel (444 George Street) were violating public health orders. While conducting a compliance check, officers found:

  • large amounts of suspected fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine, and numerous prescription pills;
  • several firearms hidden throughout the room;
  • various stolen items, including laptops, industrial tools, and other electronic devices.

Police arrested two individuals, who were charged with possession of prohibited device,  and the investigation remains ongoing.

In Kelowna, Harvest Church violated public health orders by holding in-person faith services, according to CBC News. RCMP issued a $2,300 violation ticket after a gathering was held on January 17 at the church. This is the second such fine for the church, which was previously issued a violation ticket in December for the same reason.

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, with Health Minister Adrian Dix

In a joint statement, Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced that there are 465 new cases (including 13 epi-linked cases) in the province today.

By region, that includes:

  • 262 new cases in Fraser Health;
  • 83 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
  • 61 in Interior Health;
  • 32 in the Northern Health;
  • 21 in Island Health;
  • six people from outside Canada.

Currently, there are 4,331 active cases, which is only five more people since yesterday.

Once again, the number of hospitalized cases continues to decrease. With 14 less people in hospital since yesterday, there are now 329 people are in hospital, with 70 of those patients in intensive care (two more than yesterday).

Public health is monitoring 6,864 people who have been exposed to confirmed cases.

Sadly, Henry and Dix announced 12 new COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the cumulative total to 1,090 people who have died during the pandemic.

A cumulative total of 55,099 people have now recovered.

During the pandemic, B.C. has recorded 61,912 total cases, which includes:

  • 38,068 cases in Fraser Health (62 percent);
  • 14,092 in Vancouver Coastal Health (23 percent);
  • 5,374 in Interior Health (nine percent);
  • 2,943 in Northern Health (five percent);
  • 1,306 in Island Health (two percent);
  • 129 people from outside Canada (less than one percent).

When it comes to vaccinations, a cumulative total of 92,369 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is now providing daily immunization data on its COVID-19 dashboard available on its website. (On the dashboard, click on the “Vaccine Supply and Administered, B.C.” tab at the bottom of the page.)

The good news is that there aren’t any new healthcare outbreaks.

Today, Fraser Health declared outbreaks over at these three healthcare facilities:

  • Maple Ridge Seniors Village in Maple Ridge;
  • The Emerald at Elim Village in Surrey;
  • Guildford Seniors Village in Surrey.

Interior Health stated today that an additional 28 new cases have brought the community cluster at Big White Mountain has now had a cumulative total of 203 cases since it began. At the moment, there are 43 active cases and 160 people have recovered.

Loblaw reported that two of its stores has staff members who tested positive:

  • one employee who last worked on January 6 at Real Canadian Superstore (3000 Laugheed Highway) in Coquitlam;
  • one employee who last worked on January 15 at Shoppers Drug Mart (1006 Homer Street).

Rumble Boxing announced on January 17 that it would be voluntarily closing its studio in Yaletown (968 Expo Boulevard) for 48 hours for sanitization after a staff member tested positive.

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Making Manitoba's latest COVID cut – Winnipeg Free Press

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While public health officials may give the green light to small household gatherings and a slightly enlarged social circle for people in southern Manitoba, they have suggested restaurants and nail salons must remain closed for the time being.

It’s not that getting together at home with two friends and having a meal is less risky than doing the same at a restaurant — household spread of COVID-19 is common and often asymptomatic, according to Winnipeg-based epidemiologist Cynthia Carr.

It’s permitting people to do both that could spell trouble.

“The one advantage with restaurants is they were controlling how much time you could spend in the restaurant at that table, but you’re still in a risky situation being that you’re sitting together at a table. Obviously, you’re not wearing masks because you’re eating and drinking,” said Carr.

“There’s nothing to say that then you wouldn’t go back to one of your homes and visit.”

Carr said allowing small gatherings of two people within a household — as Manitoba health officials have proposed — takes into account social and mental health benefits, while keeping overall contact numbers and exposure potential in mind.

“It goes back to, ‘Where are the opportunities for reasonable openings?’ Because there are no zero-risk options,” Carr said.

Chief provincial public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Tuesday businesses such as nail salons did not make the first round of reopening considerations based on risk and how “essential” Manitobans consider a service to be.

When it comes to shopping, Roussin said, while people may be gathered in the same vicinity, they are not in close, prolonged contact.

“So we feel that with those tight restrictions, it’s a very prudent response,” he said.

Meanwhile, gyms and organized recreation will be looked at in the future, because prolonged, indoor contact is likely in such activities and there is evidence of transmission connected to both youth and adult recreation events, Roussin said.

“We can’t open everything at once. If we open everything at once, we risk seeing those numbers climb and we’re stuck going backwards again,” Roussin said.

danielle.dasilva@freepress.mb.ca

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