BY Rachael Marshall
Hope you are well! Amid growing awareness that COVID-19 is airborne, The Canadian Shield, a Waterloo-based PPE supplier, has partnered with Guelph-based Danby appliances to distribute their lineup of air purifiers. Health Canada advises that air purifiers can provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 by reducing the amount of viruses in the air.
Thousands of schools across Canada without mechanical ventilation are moving towards portable air filters to protect students and staff from COVID-19. Workplaces are following suit, ensuring indoor air quality is a top priority as employees plan for a return to the office.
In addition to air purifiers, The Canadian Shield also offers rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, respirators, medical masks and face shields. Through masking, testing and improved air ventilation, Canadians will be well-equipped to combat and overcome COVID-19.
If you would like to speak with a member of The Canadian Shield team on this exciting partnership, please let me know and I’d be happy to facilitate.
Thanks so much and look forward to hearing from you!
THE CANADIAN SHIELD PARTNERS WITH GUELPH-BASED DANBY APPLIANCES, ADDING AIR PURIFIERS TO EXISTING PRODUCT LINE TO COMBAT COVID-19
Amid growing awareness that COVID is airborne, health experts advise increased use of air purifiers in addition to masking and testing
WATERLOO, ON | JANUARY 12, 2022 — Waterloo-based PPE manufacturer The Canadian Shield is proud to announce a partnership with Danby Appliances to distribute their lineup of air purifiers amidst surging demand for a variety of products that protect against COVID-19. Health Canada advises that when used properly, air purifiers can reduce the amount of some viruses in the air, providing an additional layer of protection against COVID-19. As public awareness grows about the airborne threat of the virus, air purifiers will provide an additional and effective layer of protection against COVID-19.
“As the highly transmissible Omicron variant continues to fuel record-high case counts, it is critical that we use all tools and resources at our disposal to protect Canadians and reduce the overall impact on our economy, school systems and communities,” says The Canadian Shield CEO Jeremy Hedges. “We see air purification as one of the most important technologies for making workplaces and classrooms safe in this pandemic. We couldn’t have a better partner in Danby with their mantra, Do the Right Thing.”
Air purifiers with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can reduce the concentration of COVID-19 and other viruses in the air by capturing small particles that can carry the virus. With Canadians spending more of their time indoors, air purifiers are essential to improving indoor air quality and providing adequate ventilation to reduce the risk of airborne transmission.
Thousands of schools across the country without mechanical ventilation are considering the use of portable air filters to protect students and staff from COVID-19. Workplaces are following suit, ensuring indoor air quality is a top priority as employees plan for a return to the office. With a supply shortage for air purifiers on the horizon, The Canadian Shield and Danby are ensuring that the public has access to these important systems.
“Danby Appliances is pleased to be working with an innovative partner like The Canadian Shield to supply much-needed air purifiers to improve air quality in schools and workplaces. Be it pollution or viral concerns, we all benefit from access to the best indoor air quality possible,” says Jim Estill, CEO of Danby Appliances.
The Canadian Shield will be distributing four different air purifier models equipped with HEPA filters that capture 99.97 per cent of airborne dust, allergens, smoke and pollen. The purifiers come with an air quality indicator and easy-to-use touch controls that will dramatically improve the air quality in any space including offices, classrooms and residential living spaces.
Ranging in price from $174.99 to $429.99, these air purifiers will dramatically reduce the levels of infectious particulates in the air and provide a safe and healthy indoor environment.
“These past two years have been extremely challenging for parents, students, businesses and community organizations impacted by frequent closures and public health restrictions,” says Hedges. “We are confident that improved air ventilation combined with proper masking and testing will be key to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In addition to air purifiers, The Canadian Shield offers rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, respirators, medical masks and face shields. For more information on the air purifiers including purchasing information, please visit The Canadian Shield’s website.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN SHIELD
The Canadian Shield is an award-winning Waterloo Region-based medical device company that specializes in the manufacturing of medical-grade PPE and distribution of rapid antigen tests.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Why Canada nixed a $222M PPE deal; 1,700 travellers broke mask rules in 2021: CBC's Marketplace cheat sheet – CBC News
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Canada terminates $222M PPE deal following forced labour probe
Do you know where your personal protective equipment is coming from?
Canada is revoking two supply contracts with Supermax Healthcare Canada worth more than $222 million, following allegations that the nitrile gloves it manufactured in Malaysia for use by Canadian health-care workers were made with forced labour.
Marketplace has been on the case for more than a year, following a 2021 investigation that found ‘appalling’ conditions in a Malaysian PPE factory supplying Canadian hospitals.
At that time, documents we reviewed showed that millions of disposable gloves, manufactured in conditions that experts say have the hallmarks of forced labour, have come into our ports. Read more
He survived open heart surgery. But now he faces an even bigger threat
When Paul Johnson was diagnosed with a defect in his aortic valve at 15, he was told that one day he’d likely require surgery on his heart.
But after it finally happened, at the age of 62 in 2015, he’d soon face an even greater challenge: complications from a slow-growing bacteria, called M. chimaera, ravaging his body.
Johnson was exposed to the virus during his open heart surgery after a contaminated medical device produced by a company called LifeNova was used in the operating room.
Now 68, he sits in constant pain, unable to move freely around his house on his own. He takes a cocktail of antibiotics and painkillers every day, and his wife, Cathy Johnson, has become his full-time caregiver.
Johnson is now part of a class-action lawsuit against LifeNova that counts at least a dozen other patients with confirmed infections as members. Read more
Some travellers question allowing travellers from U.S. to skip quarantine
If you’ve ever spent any time in quarantine, you’re probably familiar with how long the days can feel while you’re isolating at home.
But some Canadian travellers arriving from countries around the world are wondering why they have to quarantine at all — especially when travellers coming from the U.S. don’t have to.
“There’s something fishy,” said Kevin McNally of Gatineau, Que., who flew from Panama to Montreal on Jan. 7. He spent six days in quarantine before he received his negative PCR test result.
“I felt like a prisoner in my own country and yet an American can come over here and not quarantine,” said McNally. “It makes no sense.” Read more
No masks, big problem. More than 1,700 air travellers broke the rules last year
There are rules. But they still didn’t follow them. And while the spotlight was on a group of partiers on a Sunwing flight from Montreal to Mexico in December, they were hardly alone.
More than 1,700 passengers refused to wear masks during flights on Canadian air carriers last year — a problem the union representing many of Canada’s flight attendants says is getting worse.
The head of the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ airline division says that many Canadians who appear to be sick of pandemic rules and regulations are lashing out at them
“We have had incidents that have escalated to a physical nature,” said Wesley Lesosky. “We have had issues of obviously being sworn at, we have had issues of being spit at. We have had issues of just disgruntled people. We have had people [who] are just ticked off with the mask policy.”
According to Lesosky, passengers are increasingly ignoring the requirement to wear masks on flights when not eating or drinking. Read more
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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Sunday – CBC News
Beijing’s city government on Sunday introduced new measures to contain a recent outbreak of COVID-19, as China’s capital continued to report new local cases just two weeks from hosting the Winter Olympics.
Beijing Olympics organizers said on Sunday they had confirmed 72 cases of COVID-19 among 2,586 Games-related personnel entering China from Jan. 4 to 22, with no cases among 171 athletes and team officials arriving in that period.
Final preparations are taking place for the Winter Games amid a global surge in cases of the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant. The Games are set to take place from Feb. 4 to 20 inside a “closed loop” bubble that separates all event personnel from the public. Of the confirmed cases, 39 were found in testing at the airport and 33 inside the loop, organizers said.
Beijing’s Fengtai District — where China’s National Health Commission reported six locally transmitted cases on Saturday — will organize COVID-19 tests for all of its two million residents, district health authorities said.
Authorities have asked residents of “risky areas,” including a neighbourhood of Fengtai, not to leave the city, a local government spokesperson said at a Sunday news conference, adding that Fengtai residents have been asked to avoid mass gatherings.
Beijing city has also asked residents to proactively conduct nucleic acid tests if they find themselves with COVID-19-like symptoms within 14 days of receiving any deliveries from overseas, local authorities said in a statement dated Saturday.
China had urged people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from abroad, after authorities suggested the first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus found in Beijing could have arrived via a package from Canada, a claim experts say is not based on science.
In recent weeks, cities across China have imposed tougher measures to control new outbreaks of COVID-19, a task that has taken on extra urgency ahead of the start of the Olympics.
Many cities have advised residents to stay put or are requiring travellers to report their trips days before their arrival.
Meanwhile, the Beijing Olympic Committee and Chinese authorities are lowering the threshold for producing a negative test for any participant arriving at the Games.
The cycle threshold (CT) value, which comes from the most reliable test for the coronavirus, will be dropping from 40 to 35. The higher the CT value, the less infectious a person with COVID-19 is.
Many places in Canada use a CT value of 35.
The lower value makes it easier for participants to produce a negative test, especially if previously infected.
What’s happening across Canada
With lab-based testing capacity deeply strained and increasingly restricted, experts say true case counts are likely far higher than reported. Hospitalization data at the regional level is also evolving, with several provinces saying they will report figures that separate the number of people in hospital because of COVID-19 from those there for another medical issue who also test positive for COVID-19.
For more information on what is happening in your community — including details on outbreaks, testing capacity and local restrictions — click through to the regional coverage below.
You can also read more from the Public Health Agency of Canada, which provides a detailed look at every region, including seven-day average test positivity rates, in its daily epidemiological updates.
In Ontario, health officials said 3,797 people with COVID-19 were in hospital on Sunday, down by 229 from the day before. Of those patients, 604 were in intensive care, up by four from Saturday.
The province reported 5,833 new lab-confirmed cases and 56 additional deaths.
The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table is calling on the government to change the definition of the term “fully vaccinated” from two doses to three, even though Premier Doug Ford said this week his government wasn’t yet planning to do so.
Quebec recorded 3,293 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, down by 12 from the day before, with 273 of those patients in ICUs, two fewer than Saturday. The province reported 5,141 new lab-confirmed cases and 33 additional deaths.
Hundreds of restaurant owners in the province are considering reopening in defiance of public health measures.
During a briefing on Friday, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said despite signs of stability in patient numbers in some provinces, the toll on hospitals remains heavy and many hospitals across the country are under intense strain. More than 10,000 people with COVID-19 were being treated in hospitals each day in the past week, surpassing peak daily numbers in all previous waves of the pandemic.
In British Columbia, due to record-high hospitalizations, COVID-19-positive hospital patients are being placed in the same room with double-vaccinated people who do not have the virus, provincial health officials said.
In the Prairies, a northern First Nation in Manitoba is facing criticism for its lockdown measures after a group of mothers left to buy groceries on Thursday and an attempt was made to prevent them from returning to the community. In Saskatchewan, the chief medical health officer says COVID-19 hospital numbers could rise to as high as 300 to 500 or more in the next few weeks due to the high Omicron infection rate. In Alberta, a group of Calgary moms is fundraising in an effort to supply 115,000 school staff members with N95 masks.
In the Atlantic provinces, the test positivity rate in Newfoundland and Labrador dropped from 21.4 per cent on Friday to 15.8 per cent on Saturday; Prince Edward Island registered its fifth COVID-19 death since the start of the pandemic; New Brunswick recorded six additional deaths; and Nova Scotia says there are 82 people in designated COVID-19 hospital units, including 11 people in intensive care.
In the North, Northwest Territories health officials say its modelling suggests the peak of the Omicron wave “may have already passed mid-January” in the territory, Yukon has confirmed its 16th virus-related death and Nunavut reported 35 new cases and a weekly test positivity rate of 30.2 per cent.
What’s happening around the world
As of early Sunday afternoon, more than 349.6million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker. The reported global death toll stood at more than 5.59 million.
In Asia, South Korea posted its second highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, despite extended restrictions and a high vaccination rate, raising concerns of further spread during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday.
The country recorded 7,630 new cases on Saturday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, above the 7,009 reported a day earlier and near the mid-December record logged.
South Korea in mid-January extended tougher social-distancing rules for three weeks, including a 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants, cafés and bars, and limits on private gatherings.
In Europe, Russia on Sunday reported a new high in COVID-19 infections confirmed in the past 24 hours as the Omicron variant of the virus spreads, the government coronavirus task force said.
Daily new cases jumped to 63,205 from the previous record of 57,212 a day earlier. The task force also reported 679 deaths.
In Belgium, police fired water cannons and tear gas in Brussels on Sunday to disperse protesters marching against COVID-19 vaccinations and restrictions.
The march followed demonstrations in other European capitals on Saturday that also drew thousands of people protesting vaccine passports and other requirements that European governments have imposed in hopes of ending the coronavirus pandemic.
In Brussels, demonstrators chanted “Liberty!” as they marched.
White-helmeted police riot officers later sought to disperse protesters, who ignored instructions broadcast over loudspeakers that the demonstration was finished and that they should leave.
In the Americas, the world-famous Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro will be held in late April rather than the final weekend of February, as the number of coronavirus cases in Brazil spikes and the Omicron variant spreads.
In the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealanders are set to face new COVID-19 restrictions after nine cases of the variant were detected in a single family who were on a flight to Auckland for a wedding earlier this month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Sunday.
The heightened measures, going into effect on Monday, include mask wearing and limits on gatherings. Ardern said businesses can remain open, and people can still visit family and friends and move freely around the country.
In Africa, the World Bank has approved a loan of $750 million US to South Africa linked to COVID-19, aiming to help protect the poor and support economic recovery from the pandemic, the National Treasury said.
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians are travelling abroad despite Omicron – CBC News
Despite growing concerns across the globe last fall over the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, Sandy Long and her husband departed on Nov. 28 for a 10-day vacation in Mexico.
Long said they felt comfortable travelling, because they planned to take strict safety precautions. Plus, the couple hadn’t gone abroad for two years due to the pandemic and were yearning to get away.
“Life is short,” said Long, 58, of Richmond, B.C. “We needed to feel some warmth [and] we really missed Mexico.”
It appears many Canadians have a similar attitude toward travel these days despite Omicron’s fast and furious spread, which prompted Canada to repost its advisory against non-essential international travel last month.
Statistics Canada tallied 742,417 Canadian air-passenger arrivals returning home from abroad in December.
When adjusted to account for recent changes in tracking air travel, that total is almost six times the number of arrivals for the same month in 2020, and more than half the total for pre-pandemic December 2019.
The increase in international travel is likely to continue: there were 216,752 Canadian air-passenger arrivals to Canada during the week of Jan. 3 to Jan. 9, according to the latest data posted by the Canada Border Services Agency.
Travel agency owner Lesley Keyter said that, since October, the number of clients booking trips has jumped by between 30 and 40 per cent compared to the same time last year.
She said popular destinations for her clients, most of whom are aged 50 or older, include Europe, Mexico and Costa Rica. When Omicron cases started to surge in December, Keyter said some clients cancelled their trip, but most kept their travel plans.
“People are saying, “Listen, we only have a limited time on this planet.… We’ve put off travel for two years now, I don’t want to put it off anymore,” said Keyter, owner of The Travel Lady Agency in Calgary.
She said travellers also feel confident with the added protection of their COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot. Because Omicron is so transmissible and more able to evade vaccines, even vaccinated people may get infected, however, they’re less likely to wind up in the hospital.
Risk of testing positive abroad
But even if infected travellers only experience mild symptoms, they’ll still face hurdles returning home.
To enter Canada, air passengers must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of departure. If a traveller tests positive, they must wait at least 11 days before boarding a flight home.
Brennan Watson, 26, of Milverton, Ont., tested positive on Dec. 28 while travelling in Ireland.
He was set to fly home the following day, but instead had to find a place to self-isolate in Belfast. Due to Canada’s rules at the time — which have now changed — Watson had to wait 15 days before he could fly home.
“It was very stressful in the beginning,” he said. “It was a bit of a panic just to think that I’m stuck here.”
Brennan said the delay cost him: he missed 11 days of work as an electrician and spent $2,000 in added expenses, including another plane ticket home.
“There’s nothing you can really do about it,” he said. “It’s just something I didn’t even think would happen.”
WATCH | Canada once again advises against travel abroad:
Travel insurance broker Martin Firestone said travellers can avoid such unexpected costs by purchasing trip-interruption insurance. He said most of his clients now opt for the coverage that will reimburse travellers for some or all of their costs if they test positive and must extend their trip.
“Trip interruption — which used to be a very rarely [purchased product] — is now being added to all the emergency medical plans, because clients worry terribly about testing positive,” said Firestone with Travel Secure.
“That’s the new world we live in right now with the pandemic.”
Another hurdle travellers may face is unexpected flight cancellations.
This month, Air Canada Vacations announced it will suspend some flights to sun destinations between Jan. 24 and April 30. After cutting 15 per cent of its January flights, WestJet announced on Tuesday it will cancel 20 per cent of its February flights.
Long said she and her husband enjoyed their trip to Mexico so much, they had planned to return again in the upcoming weeks. However, the couple recently nixed their plans due to concerns over flight cancellations.
“It’s the uncertainty right now,” said Long. “I don’t want to get down there and then be stranded.”
However, she’s still optimistic about a trip the couple has booked in May to Spain.
Despite testing positive while travelling, Brennan hopes to return to Ireland this summer — even if the pandemic hasn’t waned by then.
“I spent a year and a half of my life not seeing family, not seeing friends,” he said. “I’m not going to stop living my life.”
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