One Mississauga neighbourhood has one of the highest COVID-19 percent positivity rates (percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in the area) in Ontario, according to Toronto-based research group ICES.
ICES provided an overview of the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of individuals in Ontario who tested and confirmed positive for COVID-19 during the week of January 10 to 16.
From January 10 to 16, the Mississauga area with postal code beginning with L5W (area of Derry and Mavis Rd) had one the highest percent positivity rates at 16.9%.
The top 10 Ontario neighbourhoods included five from Peel:
- L6P, Brampton at 19.4% (area of Castlemore and The Gore Rd)
- L5W, Mississauga at 16.9% (area of Derry and Mavis Rd)
- L6T, Brampton at 16.6% (area of Highway 407 from the 410 to Goreway Dr)
- L6W, Brampton at 16.0% (area of Steeles Ave East and Kennedy Rd South)
- L6R, Brampton at 15.8% (area of Bramalea Rd at Sandalwood Pkwy East)
The rest of the top 10 constituted four neighbourhoods in Toronto and one in York Region.
According to ICES’ data, Peel had the highest percent positivity (11.7%) out of all of Ontario’s 34 Public Health Units, followed by Toronto and Windsor-Essex County. Ontario’s overall percent positivity was 5.4%.
“The percent positivity was relatively lower among persons living in long-term care homes (4.5%), compared to those not living in long-term care (5.5%),” ICES said.
“Twelve FSAs (forward sortation areas) had 15% positivity or greater (within Toronto, Peel, and York), representing a decrease in the number of high-positivity FSAs compared to the week of January 3 (during which twenty four FSAs had greater than 15% positivity). Numerous high-positivity FSAs (L5W, L6W, L6Y, L4T, N4W, M6M, M1C, L4Z, N8H, MU, L4L, M2J, M2R) were also experiencing outbreaks in long-term care homes.”
ICES says percent positivity increased among children over the course of December, but these changes did not always correlate with changes in incidence, likely due in part to decreased testing rates.
Testing rates decreased over the course of December for all age groups, especially for children aged 2-13 years.
The full data is available to read here.
Images courtesy of ICES
Is a single COVID-19 vaccine dose enough for those previously infected? – Global News
A new letter by two Canadian experts published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) last week stated that with a 92.6 per cent efficacy, the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was “highly protective.”
During a news conference on Feb. 18, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said that according to early data, the indicators are that there is a “good level of protection” after just one dose.
How COVID-19 vaccination plans are evolving in Quebec, Ontario
France’s health authority, H.A.S., has gone one step further in recommending that everyone who has been previously infected with COVID-19 receive a single shot, instead of the two-dose regimen prescribed by vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna.
The recommendation made on Feb. 12 says the single booster shot should be given three to six months after COVID-19 infection.
The reasoning, according to H.A.S., is that people who have had a confirmed infection should be considered protected for at least three months by post-infection immunity, whether the disease was symptomatic or not.
“It is an interesting approach to take,” said Rowland Kao, professor of veterinary epidemiology and data science at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
“And you would expect that natural immunity will give you .. a more broad response (than the first dose) because it is the original virus that is causing it.”
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 80-90% effective after 1st dose
A spokesperson for H.A.S. told Global News that the French health minister has yet to make a decision on the recommendation. For now, France is giving two shots for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.
Amid shortages in vaccine supplies and a rush to control the pandemic, some experts say this strategy is worth considering as it could potentially save precious doses.
Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of infectious diseases at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., said a single dose of vaccine in someone previously infected is “reasonable while we continue to have a short supply of vaccine globally.”
Two small studies in the United States by Mount Sinai and the University of Maryland showed a single dose in people who had COVID-19 provided at least the same amount of protection as two shots in people who haven’t been infected. The data has not yet been peer-reviewed.
“You could treat getting COVID-19 as like getting your first dose of vaccine,” said Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton.
A single dose could serve as a booster to get the “prime long-term response,” he told Global News.
“You could definitely save on vaccine supply with these mRNA vaccines by only giving those individuals a single dose moving forward.”
Some Canadian provinces have decided to delay giving the second dose, which some experts have called a “risky approach” and “a gamble.”
Last week, New Brunswick health officials said the province will delay the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those who are considered to be at a lower risk.
In mid-January, Quebec announced that it was pushing the time between the two doses to a maximum of three months in an attempt to vaccinate more seniors faster with a first injection.
Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna propose intervals of 21 and 28 days, respectively.
Why is Health Canada taking so long to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine?
In its recommendation for the previously infected, France’s H.A.S. says people who have proven immunosuppression, which makes them more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 illness, should be given the two doses.
It also says people who catch the virus in the days after a first dose is given should not receive a second shot within the usual timeframe, but within three to six months after infection.
According to the data from the clinical trials, Pfizer’s vaccine, which is 95 per cent effective, can offer partial protection as early as 12 days after the first dose.
Kao said the immediate protection after the first dose and second dose is quite similar.
However, it still remains to be seen what the long-term immune response will be after the first dose.
“We really don’t know how long that protection is going to last,“ said Kao.
“The second dose is really there to give you that long-lasting immunity.”
Quebec public health experts support delaying second COVID-19 dose
Data analysis by Canadian experts published in the NEJM found a 68.5 per cent vaccine efficacy beginning seven days after Pfizer’s first dose and a 92.6 percent efficacy two weeks after a single shot.
Based on the evidence so far, Chagla says it is premature to roll out the single-dose strategy on a wide scale and that more research was needed on that front.
“If you could prove that works, you really do save a significant amount of vaccine … and you really can change your vaccine strategy almost overnight if you can implement something like that.”
— With files from Global News’ Linda Boyle
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
OPEC Considers Production Increase At March Meeting – OilPrice.com
OPEC+ will discuss the possibility of increasing its oil production levels at the next meeting, OPEC+ sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
The group is set to meet on March 4, where it will discuss raising output as much as a half a million barrels per day starting in April, the sources said.
OPEC+ members are currently suppressing oil production by more than 7 million barrels per day, but with oil prices now on the rise and the markets getting the idea that the market could be tightening, OPEC+ may consider loosening the reins.
The last Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee Meeting of OPEC+ met in the first week of February ended without many surprises. For the month of February, another 75,000 bpd was added to the quotas—65,000 bpd to Russia and 10,000 bpd to Kazakhstan. For the month of March, production quotas were eased again by another 75,000 bpd—again to Russia (65,000 bpd) and Kazakhstan (10,000 bpd).
But Saudi Arabia had announced in January that in February and March, it would voluntarily cut an additional 1 million bpd from its quota.
Saudi Arabia has not committed to cutting this additional million barrels beyond March, so it’s very possible that this OPEC+ meeting will end with an additional 1.5 million barrels added into the mix: an additional 500,000 bpd added to the production quotas, and an additional million bpd from Saudi Arabia.
The oil markets have improved in recent weeks, with crude oil inventories in the world’s most visible oil market, the United States, finally returning to its five-year average. The price of Brent oil has rebounded to more than $67 per barrel, with WTI traded above $63 as of Wednesday afternoon. This is the highest level oil prices have seen in over a year.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.
Potential COVID exposure at multiple businesses and on Halifax Transit routes – HalifaxToday.ca
Nova Scotia Health Public Health is advising of potential exposure to COVID-19 at one location in Western Zone, four locations in Central Zone and various Halifax Transit routes. In addition to media releases, all potential exposure notifications are listed here: http://www.nshealth.ca/covid-exposures.
Anyone who worked at or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should immediately visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access or if you have other symptoms that concern you.
Regardless of whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms, those present at the following location on the named date and time are required to self-isolate while waiting for their test result. If you get a negative result, you do not need to keep self-isolating. If you get a positive result, you will be contacted by Public Health about what to do next.
- Callister’s Country Kitchen (7076 Highway 1 Coldbrook) on Feb. 15 between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 1.
- Hop Scotch Dinner Club (1537 Barrington St, Halifax) on Feb. 19 between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 5.
For the following locations, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate while you wait for your test result. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 you do not need to self-isolate while you wait for your test result.
- Bishop’s Cellar (1477 Lower Water St, Halifax) on Feb. 19 between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 5.
- Sobeys Timberlea (65 Market Way Ln, Timberlea) on Feb. 21 between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 7.
- Superstore Sackville (745 Sackville Dr, Lower Sackville) on Feb. 21 between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 7.
Various Halifax Transit bus routes:
- Route 159 Portland Hills from Portland to Scotia Square on Feb. 18 between 5:30 p.m. between 6:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 4.
- Route 61 Auburn/North Preston from Portland to Scotia Square on Feb. 18 between 5:30 p.m. between 6:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 4.
- Route 14 Leiblin Park from Scotia Square to Mumford on Feb. 18 between 5:30 p.m. between 6:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 4.
- Route 1 Spring Garden from Mumford to Scotia Square on Feb. 19 between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 5.
- Route 159 Portland Hills from Scotia Square to Portland on Feb. 19 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 5.
- Route 61 Auburn/North Preston from Portland to Scotia Square on Feb. 20 between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 6.
- Route 14 Leiblin Park from Scotia Square to Mumford on Feb. 20 between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. It is anticipated that anyone exposed to the virus on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, March 6.
Do not go directly to a COVID-19 assessment centre without being directed to do so. Please book an appointment online and do not go to a pop-up rapid testing location.
Currently, anyone who traveled outside Nova Scotia or PEI is expected to self-isolate alone for 14 days after arriving. If a person returning from non-essential travel outside Nova Scotia or PEI is unable to isolate alone, then everyone in the home where they are self-isolating will have to self-isolate as well.
When Nova Scotia Health Public Health makes a public notification it is not in any way a reflection on the behaviour or activities of those named in the notification.
All Nova Scotians are advised to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and are urged to follow Public Health guidelines on how to access care. Up to date information about COVID-19 is available at novascotia.ca/coronavirus
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