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'Thank Twice' about inviting grandparents to Thanksgiving dinner: Eastern Ontario top doc – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s top doctor admits health officials are worried about the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend and possible family gatherings leading to a spike in COVID-19 cases in Ontario.

And Dr. Paul Roumeliotis is urging people to “think twice” about inviting grandparents over for Thanksgiving dinner.

Ontario reported a record 797 new cases of COVID-19 across the province on Thursday, including 182 in Ottawa.

Speaking on CTV Morning Live Thursday morning, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said it’s important for everyone to stick with their household bubble for the Thanksgiving weekend to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

“I think at this point If we buckle down, for example this coming weekend obviously, stay at home, stay with your own household, don’t have others at your home, don’t socialize otherwise, I think we’ll be able to quell those numbers down,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

CTV Morning Live host Leslie Roberts asked Dr. Roumeliotis if there should be concern about Ottawa seeing 117 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

“It is a big number. It worries me as an individual number but I do understand that a lot of it has to do with a lot of clusters. Ottawa, for example, has over 20 clusters of cases where there are at least 10 individuals, if not more, from one single party or gathering,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

“As long as we’re able to identify where the sources of these infections are coming from, I think we’ll be able to get those numbers down. I think that’s a fallout of over the last couple of weeks since Labour Day, where people were celebrating and getting together with parties, even outdoor parties.”

Before the 797 new infections were reported on Thursday, Dr. Roumeliotis said there were signs the number of cases of COVID-19 were “stabilized” over the past week.

“I’m just hoping that we can continue to see that flattening and then that going downwards,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

“This is the fallout that we’re seeing from Labour Day. It’s been a month now from Labour Day, and we always see what we call two week incubation periods of 28 days of fallout. So, hopefully with these measures that we’ve done we’ll be able to further see that number stay where it is and go down.”

Last week, Ontario announced new capacity limits for bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Ottawa. A maximum of six people can sit at a table, and capacity is limited to 100 people.  Last month, Ontario limited social gatherings in private to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. 

Ottawa Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches and Ontario health officials have repeatedly asked people to stick to their household bubble for Thanksgiving weekend, and not invite people over.

Dr. Roumeliotis tells CTV Morning Live that a lot of people are worried about Thanksgiving weekend and a potential spike in cases if people socialize.

“Please only have your household over, it’s very important. Your bubble is your household now, no more 10, it’s your household.  Avoid travel, avoid receiving people,” said. Dr. Roumeliotis.

“This is a time where we can actually make the difference and continue my optimistic trend of flattening and bringing it down.”

When CTV Morning Live asked Dr. Roumeliotis about inviting grandma or grandpa over for Thanksgiving dinner, the medical officer of health said, “Think twice” about it.

“Depends on the situation, if you’re going to have a person living alone, you can bring somebody yes. But be very careful; socially distance, wear masks at home, be very careful to protect grandma,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

“If you can’t socially distance at home, if you got a lot of kids running around that are going to go sit on grandma’s lap, for example, that you can’t control, then you got to think about it.”

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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, Oct. 30 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

  • Starting next Monday (Nov. 2), the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.
  • As of last Monday (Oct. 26), there were outbreaks at 11 per cent of the province’s schools, or 101 schools, 39 of which had more than five cases. There were 680 cases in schools.
  • Alberta reported 477 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total active cases in the province to 4,921 — another new high after hitting record numbers nearly every day for the past week.
  • That comes after the province saw 1,440 new cases over the weekend — more than the number of cases reported in the entire month of June, and nearly as many as were reported in the month of May. 
  • Alberta’s data system will be undergoing some maintenance over the weekend, meaning no new numbers will be reported on Monday. Data updates are set to resume on Tuesday.
  • Five more people have died, bringing total deaths in the province to 318. 
  • There are 130 people in hospital, 18 of whom are in intensive care.
  • If you’re wondering how to handle Halloween this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some ideas on how to trick-or-treat, give out candy or celebrate in a different way — without the fear of catching or spreading the coronavirus.
  • The province has brought in new mandatory limits of 15 people at most social gatherings in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • The province is also recommending voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 
  • It also recommends that people in Edmonton and Calgary limit themselves to no more than three social cohorts.

(CBC)

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Alberta set another record on Thursday with 4,921 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 128 from the day before.

The death toll now sits at 318, up five from Wednesday. Five more deaths were reported on Thursday. They involved:

  • A man in his 40s from the South zone.
  • A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak in Agecare Skypointe in the Calgary zone.
  • A man in his 90s from the Calgary zone who was not a resident in continuing care.
  • A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Mount Royal Revera in the Calgary zone.
  • A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton General Care Centre. The death was the fifth linked to the outbreak and was announced Wednesday by Covenant Health.

Starting Monday, the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said the changes to the symptom list are intended to get children and teenagers back into child care or classrooms as quickly and safely as possible, while minimizing the risk of COVID-19.

In the last week, she said, more than 3,400 children and youth who were tested for COVID-19 reported having a sore throat. Just over 700 of them had a sore throat as their only symptom, and less than one per cent of their tests came back positive.

Meanwhile, the number of cases of COVID-19 among school-aged children in Alberta has again surged to a new high, while the number of kids and teens being tested continues to decline.

Data from Alberta Health shows the number of new daily cases has continued to rise among five- to nine-year-olds and has again shot up, especially, among 10- to 19-year-olds.

Over the past week on record, an average of 85 cases were recorded per day among school-aged kids and teens.

As of Monday, there were outbreaks at 11 per cent of the province’s schools, or 101 schools, 39 of which had more than five cases. There were 680 cases in schools.

Alberta has reported a total of 27,042 cases since the pandemic began. Before this past week, which set new records on multiple days in a row, the highest active case total was 3,022, which was reported on April 30 at the peak of the first wave.

The active case rate per 100,000 people is 121 in Calgary and 183 in Edmonton. 

A snapshot of the active COVID-19 cases by health district in Calgary as of Oct. 28. (CBC)

A new temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

The province is also recommending two voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 

The federal minimum security Pê Sâkâstêw Centre in Maskwacis has been locked down after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Another three staff members are self-isolating at home. 

A spokesperson for Correctional Service Canada told CBC News they don’t believe the infected employees were in close contact with any of the inmates.

An outbreak at the Calgary Correctional Centre has gotten bigger, according to new numbers provided by Alberta Health Services. As of Thursday, 100 inmates and 18 staff members have tested positive.

Albertans have been administered more than 597,000 doses of the flu shot so far this year, an increase of more than 50,000 when compared to the same time period last year.

“Thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of influenza, and helping our health system stay focused on the pandemic response,” Hinshaw said Thursday.

Health officials have said this year it is more important than ever to get the flu shot because of the pandemic. 

Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Thursday.

  • Edmonton zone: 2,277, an increase of 22 from the day before.
  • Calgary zone: 1,879, an increase of 91 from the day before.
  • North zone: 325, an increase of one from the day before.
  • South zone: 256, the same as the day before.
  • Central zone: 162, an increase of two from the day before.
  • Unknown: 22, a decrease of two from the day before.  

Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 228,542 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases, with 27,259 of those active. Provinces and territories listed 191,209 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,074.

In Ontario, new provincial projections for COVID-19 show that virus growth is slowing and the province is seeing a “more gentle curve” than it was initially preparing for, public health officials say.

Quebec reported 1,030 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 more deaths on Thursday, as federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu confirmed that the province would be receiving a much larger batch of rapid COVID-19 testing kits than previously announced.

The province will receive about 453,000 in total, with a little less than half of that order expected to arrive by the end of this week. That means Quebec will receive about 37 per cent of the 1.2 million kits being deployed across Canada by the federal government.

Saskatchewan reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the record for the highest single-day jump in new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Manitoba also had a record-breaking day Thursday with 193 new cases and 97 people in hospital with the illness — both new highs for the province. It also announced one new death.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadians suffering from mental illness, opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems, says a new study released today by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which confirms anecdotal reports warning that the pandemic’s health consequences extend well beyond the novel coronavirus itself.

(CBC News)

Self-assessment and supports:

With winter cold and influenza season approaching, Alberta Health Services will prioritize Albertans for testing who have symptoms, and those groups which are at higher risk of getting or spreading the virus.

General asymptomatic testing is no longer available to anyone, but voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to:

  • School teachers and staff.
  • Health-care workers.
  • Staff and residents at long-term care and congregate living facilities.
  • Any Albertans experiencing homelessness.
  • Travellers requiring a test before departure.

Additional groups can also access asymptomatic testing if required.

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

You can find Alberta Health Services’ latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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B.C.’s top doctor is reminding you to keep your gatherings small this Halloween – News 1130

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SURREY (NEWS 1130) – While B.C.’s top doctor is giving the thumbs up to trick-or-treating this weekend, it’s a different story when it comes to parties.

“No Halloween parties this weekend,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said during her COVID-19 update on Thursday. “This Halloween weekend we need to celebrate in new ways. We need to keep our groups small.”

It comes days after she issued a new provincial health order, limiting gatherings at homes to no more than the people living there plus six others in their “safe bubble.”

“This is because many of the things we do at parties and celebrations, things like talking and hugging and eating and drinking together indoors are much, much riskier. Particularly now.”

But Henry said if you plan to get together with people in your safe six this weekend, it should maybe be at a restaurant instead of someone’s home.

“It does prevent transmission of this virus. There are some very clear reasons for this. First, for most of us, our homes do not have the space for everybody to keep that safe distance that we need right now. Second, our homes don’t have those layers of protection that we have built in to other places to slow the spread of COVID-19,” she explained.

“We don’t use such things as plexi-glass barriers and one-way pathways in our homes, which naturally means that we will be closer to each other.”

Unlike at the grocery store or a school, we’re also more likely to forget about precautions at home because we’re more familiar and comfortable with our setting, Henry added.

Related stories: 

“Many of the new cases we have today are directly linked to gatherings — in our homes and elsewhere — that are now resulting in community transmission of COVID-19 across the province. But this has been particularly the case in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Health region.”

People in the Fraser Health region are being asked to skip out on gatherings, even small ones, altogether this weekend.

“Even small gatherings can be risky right now,” Fraser Health Authority President Dr. Victoria Lee said Thursday. “At this crucial time, we’re asking people who reside in the Fraser Health region to take a pause and reconsider as our social interactions outside of our households.”

The Fraser Health region has seen the majority of COVID-19 cases in the province.

When it comes to trick-or-treating, Henry said that should be kept small too.

“It can be done safely, outside, with small groups. Making sure that we give the others the space to stay safe and also importantly to respect those homes that are choosing not to participate this year.”

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COVID-19 Live Updates: News on coronavirus in Calgary for Oct. 30 – Calgary Herald

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Have you been impacted by COVID-19?

Postmedia is looking to speak with people who may have been impacted by the growing second wave of COVID-19 here in Alberta. Do you have a family member in the Foothills hospital? Did you attend the recent wedding that led to 51 cases? Send us an email at reply@calgaryherald.com to tell us your experience, or send us a message via this form.



Alberta updates symptom checklist for students

Pictured is a classroom in Henry Wise Wood High School that could accommodate a cohort of up to 38 students on Friday, August 28, 2020. Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia
Pictured is a classroom in Henry Wise Wood High School that could accommodate a cohort of up to 38 students on Friday, August 28, 2020. Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Azin Ghaffari/Postmedia

Alberta is providing new guidance for parents checking for COVID-19 symptoms before school each morning.

Currently, students are asked to stay home and monitor for 24 hours when they have one of the non-core COVID-19 symptoms of chills, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, muscle/joint aches, or headache. Starting Monday, the government will be removing runny nose and sore throat from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for school-aged children.

“Based on our data so far, the risk of a child with just one of these symptoms has COVID is even lower if that child is not known to be a close contact of someone with COVID-19,” Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday, emphasizing that this new checklist only applies to those with no known exposure to COVID-19.

Also starting Monday, children with only one of the non-core symptoms should still stay home and monitor for 24 hours, but if they improve, testing is not necessary and they can return to normal activities. If they have two or more symptoms, however, they should stay home until the symptoms improve or they test negative for COVID-19.

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