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'Too soon' to say whether 28-day semi-lockdown will lift on Oct. 28, Arruda says – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
Despite some hopeful signs and an apparent “stabilizing” of case numbers, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said on Tuesday, several regions of the province are now being moved to red zone rules.

And Quebec’s Public Health Director, Dr. Horacio Arruda, said it is “too soon” to discuss what will happen on Oct. 28, after the 28-day semi-lockdown for Montreal and some other regions was originally scheduled to lift.

The two leaders made the comments in their daily COVID-19 update, the first after the long weekend.

New case counts were under 900 on Monday and Tuesday, the lowest numbers in a week.

“Things seem to be stabilizing.. we don’t seem to be going towards 1,500 or 2,000 cases,” Legault said.

“So, once again, it’s too early to celebrate, but… there’s reason to believe that the efforts we’re making are bearing fruit.”

Still, the province is seeing a worrisome spread of cases outside of major cities, necessitating the move to red for a few regions: All of Monteregie, Centre du Quebec and the Quebec City region, including Charlevoix.

One region is also moving to orange zone rules, Legault said: The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.

The new rules were likely to go into effect on Friday, Legault said, with more details to follow.

Arruda said that he’s also been encouraged in the last few days, though warned people against assuming that progress meant they’d go back to the summertime status quo.

“Essentially, it’s too soon to talk about what’s going to happen the 28th of October,” Arruda said.

It’s important to remember that “15 days in a COVID situation is an eternity,” Arruda said, describing how people’s actions on a single day tend to only really show up 10 or 15 days later, when it’s clear not only how many new infections there are, but how sick the infected people are getting.

Right now, he said, “we feel we’ve reached a certain plateau” and are happy to see that people seem to be respecting the restrictions.

However, the province needs more time to look at overall trends and will be acting cautiously, both he and Legault reiterated several times.

“I don’t think we can come back to the freedom that we had this summer, necessarily,” said Arruda, “as long as we haven’t stabilized the stiuation.”

Legault said that there seems to be an unavoidable “yo-yo” process in all countries around the world.

“We are trying to open the tap a little bit to have a more normal life, then when we see we’ve opened it too much we close it down a little bit,” he said.

He added at another point that it is “too soon to talk about Christmas” and whether big gatherings will be possible, and also “too soon” to talk about when to expect a vaccine.

Legault also encouraged Quebecers to download the COVID-19 tracing app and, most of all, to limit their gatherings as much as possible and follow the rules.

“The most important thing to do is reduce indoor gatherings,” he said.

He repeated several times that the virus can spread easily in small, indoor spaces, even if people remain two metres apart.

“Even if you’re two metres away, it’s possible to infect people, especially if we are in a room for more than 15 minutes,” he said.

He said these “sacrifices” are necessary to save lives, to keep Quebec kids in school and to limit the pressure on health-care providers. Everyone should keep in mind, he said, that they could be the next person to get sick and need hospital care.

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COVID-19: New rules mandate medical masks for some spa, salon staff – London Free Press (Blogs)

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“As we learn more about the novel coronavirus, how it spreads and how it behaves, we are putting measures in place to protect the community and prevent the kind of outbreaks that have been seen in other parts of the province.”

The updated order, made under Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act, includes the following rules for personal service businesses:

  • Staff must wear a medical-grade face mask and face shield while performing services or procedures that require a client to remove their mask. The medical-grade mask can be a surgical mask and does not have to be a particle-blocking N95 respirator. The previous order banned all services requiring clients to remove their masks.
  • Business owners must inform all staff about the increased risk of COVID-19 exposure when they’re completing a procedure that requires a client to remove their mask. This item did not appear in the first order.
  • Multi-participant steam rooms, saunas or whirlpools must close. The previous order shuttered all steam rooms, saunas and whirlpools.
  • Baths, hot tubs, floating pools or sensory deprivation pods intended for one person are permitted. The first order had required these facilities to close unless administered by a regulated health professional.
  • Oxygen bars must close.
  • All staff must wear face masks on the job.

The new rules take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. There is no timeline on the duration of the public health order.

Failing to comply with the order can carry a fine of as much as $5,000 a day for individuals and $25,000 a day for businesses.

London and Middlesex County reported two new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, one in a person aged 20 to 29, the other in a person 80 or older.

The London-area has reported three deaths and 378 new COVID-19 cases since Sept. 1, including 230 cases this month. October’s case count is second only to April, the peak of the first wave.

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COVID-19 immunity wanes within weeks, U.K. study finds. Results suggest vaccine needed twice a year – National Post

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She added: “Seasonal coronaviruses that circulate every winter and cause common colds can reinfect people, after six to 12 months – and we suspect that the way that the body reacts to infection with this new coronavirus is rather similar to that.

“We don’t yet know what level of antibody is needed in a person’s blood to protect them from infection or reinfection from SARS-CoV-2, but of course that level is a crucial thing to begin to understand.”

Acquiring this collective immunity just by letting virus run through the population is not really an option

Tarik Jasarevic, spokesman for the World Health Organization

The findings suggested that even if a successful vaccine was developed, it might have to be administered as often as every six months, increasing the scale of the challenge ahead. However, researchers said vaccines could prove more powerful than natural immunity.

The study backs up findings from similar surveys in Germany which found the vast majority of people didn’t have COVID-19 antibodies, even in hotspots for the disease, and that antibodies might fade in those who do.

World Health Organization spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said that uncertainty over how long immunity would last and the fact most people had never had antibodies against the coronavirus in the first place showed the need to break transmission chains.

“Acquiring this collective immunity just by letting virus run through the population is not really an option,” he told a U.N. briefing in Geneva

Professor Graham Cooke, another Imperial infectious diseases expert, said: “The big picture here is that after the first wave, the great majority of the country still did not have evidence of protective immunity. So although we are seeing a decline in the proportion of people who are testing positive, we still have a great majority of people who are unlikely to have been exposed.

“So the need for a vaccine is still very large if you want to try and get a large level of protection in the population.”

Imperial’s study, based on a survey of 365,000 randomly selected adults, was released as a pre-print paper, and has not yet been peer-reviewed.

The rapid waning of antibodies did not necessarily have implications for the efficacy of vaccine candidates currently in clinical trials, Imperial’s Barclay said.

“A good vaccine may well be better than natural immunity,” she said.

With files from The Daily Telegraph

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News Releases | COVID-19 Bulletin #234 – news.gov.mb.ca

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Need More Info?

Public information, contact Manitoba Government Inquiry: 1-866-626-4862 or 204-945-3744.

Media requests for general information, contact Communications Services Manitoba: 204-945-3765.

Media requests for ministerial comment, contact Communications and Stakeholder Relations: 204-794-0732.

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