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Top doc reports 800 new cases in Alta., says spread is outpacing province's contact-tracing ability – CTV Edmonton

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EDMONTON —
Alberta Health confirmed a record 800 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Thursday, prompting its chief medical officer of health to issue an ultimatum: without a decline in active cases, more action will be needed to protect Alberta’s health-care system. 

The province has set and broken its daily record numerous times in the past two weeks, with former highs of 622 cases being reported on Oct. 29 and 592 cases on Nov. 1.

But never 800. 

“It means that the measures we introduced 10 days ago, which may have helped cases plateau over the last few days, are not having enough of an effect,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw said in an afternoon update. 

“It means that in about seven to 10 days from now, our hospital numbers will rise further, which means that care for Albertans with other issues besides COVID will be impacted.” 

Her department couldn’t report exact numbers due to “internal discrepancies” in its reporting system, but said its ability to identify and follow up with new cases was unaffected. 

LOW-PRIORITY CASES TO INFORM OWN CONTACTS OF POSITIVE DIAGNOSIS

However, Hinshaw said Alberta Health Services’ ability to trace new cases is being outpaced by the rate of transmission, and as such, AHS will have to focus on “high-priority setting” cases until more contract tracers are hired. 

“AHS does not currently have the capacity to call every contact of every case in a timely way,” Hinshaw commented.

“Every confirmed case will still get a phone call to identify whether or not they have a link to a high-priority setting, like a continuing care facility, a health care setting, or a school. If a case attended a group event, like a wedding, a party, or a group fitness class while infectious, or if this could have been the source of their infection, the organizer of these events will still be contacted to ensure attendees are notified,” she explained.

If a case isn’t linked to a high-priority setting, they will be given information about calling their own contacts and informing them of the need to isolate and be tested. 

“The importance of making sure cases notify their own contacts will be stressed to them when they have that phone call from the Alberta Health Services public health professional,” Hinshaw promised. 

ALBERTANS SPREADING DISEASE BY WORKING, SOCIALIZING WHILE INFECTIOUS

A day earlier, the province reported 6,230 active cases across Alberta, with 164 Albertans in hospital.

On Thursday, Hinshaw said Alberta’s two largest cities each have more than 2,500 cases, a “high proportion” of which who worked or went to a social gathering while symptomatic. 

In Edmonton, nine per cent of active cases worked while they had symptoms. Another eight per cent visited retail or service businesses. Another eight per cent went to a social gathering. 

In Calgary, 11 per cent worked while symptomatic. Another nine per cent travelled. Another seven per cent attended a social gathering. 

“We are talking about at least 500 people who did not stay home while symptomatic. This is significant. I am calling on Albertans to please stop all activities if you have any symptoms,” Hinshaw urged Albertans. 

In each city, an estimated 40 per cent of cases were exposed at home or at a gathering. 

“One of my big concerns is actually that I don’t think Halloween is yet driving these numbers,” the top doctor commented. 

She said the current rate of cases was increasingly present in conversations about how to move forward, but not that it was time for stricter restrictions. 

“The timing is about wanting to be sure that the measures we’re putting in place are balancing again the COVID impacts and the impacts of restrictions.” 

ACCURATE DATA TO RETURN FRIDAY 

Alberta Health is expected to release up-to-date and specific data for Wednesday and Thursday on Friday. 

“This has not been a good week,” Hinshaw admitted, referring to a system upgrade over the weekend, and a separate system issue which caused late data on Wednesday and inexact numbers Thursday. 

“Sometimes a car breaks down.” 

All Hinshaw said about the issue was that “internal discrepancies” were found by her team during routine quality assurance processes. 

It led to Hinshaw only being able to report “about 800” cases in some 14,000 tests on Thursday, and an inaccurate reporting of tests conducted the previous day. On Wednesday, Alberta Health reported nearly 600 COVID-19 cases among 7,400 tests; the accurate number of tests is actually 11,000, Hinshaw said. 

“The team is working hard to address this as we speak.” 

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Ontario reports 1824 new COVID-19 cases, including 10 in greater Kawarthas region – kawarthaNOW.com

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Here’s an update on COVID-19 cases in Ontario as well as in the greater Kawarthas region.

Ontario is reporting 1,824 new COVID-19 cases today, although this number includes 127 cases from Middlesex-London Health Unit reported over the previous three days that, due to a data processing error, were not included in previous daily reports. The average number of daily cases over the past seven days has increased by 49 to 1,769.

There are 10 new cases to report in the greater Kawarthas region, with the total number of active cases decreasing by 5 to 99.

Most of the new cases reported today are in Peel (592), Toronto (392), York (187), and Middlesex-London (127). The cases in Middlesex-London, which are the total cases reported over the past three days, work out to an average of 42 cases per day.

There are double-digit increases in Waterloo (87), Halton (68), Windsor-Essex (62), Durham (57), Hamilton (56), Ottawa (41), Niagara (25), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (23), Eastern Ontario Health Unit (19), Thunder Bay (13), and Simcoe Muskoka (11), with smaller increases in Huron Perth (9), Southwestern Public Health (8), Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (7), and Leeds, Grenville & Lanark (6).

The remaining 15 health units are reporting 5 or fewer new cases, with 6 health units reporting no new cases at all.

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Of today’s cases, 54% are among people under 40 years of age, with the highest number of cases (728) among people ages 20 to 39 followed by 499 cases among people ages 40 to 59. With 1,541 more cases resolved since yesterday, the percentage of resolved cases remains unchanged at 84.8%. The average positivity rate across Ontario has decreased by 0.3% to 4.4%, meaning that 44 out of every 1,000 tests performed were positive for COVID-19 on December 2.

Ontario is reporting 14 new COVID-19 deaths today, including 11 in long-term care facilities. Hospitalizations have increased by 10 to 666, with 12 additional patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICUs and 1 additional patient on a ventilator.

A total of 52,873 tests were completed yesterday, and the backlog of tests under investigation has increased by 8,746 to 58,320.

There are 122 new cases in Ontario schools today, a decrease of 44 from yesterday, with 94 student cases and 28 staff cases. There are 17 new cases in licensed child care settings, a decrease of 11 from yesterday, with 11 cases among children and 6 cases among staff.

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In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 10 new cases to report, including 4 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (almost all in Belleville), 3 in Northumberland, 2 in Peterborough, and 1 in Kawartha Lakes. There are no new cases to report in Haliburton.

An additional 9 cases have been resolved in Hastings and Prince Edward, 3 in Northumberland, and 3 in Peterborough.

The new cases in schools reported by Ontario include 1 student case at St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Asphodel-Norwood. In addition, St. Peter Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough is reporting a confirmed case, but has not identified whether it is a student or staff member.

None of the reported new cases in child care settings are in the greater Kawarthas region.

There are currently 99 active cases in the greater Kawarthas region, including 39 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, 28 in Northumberland, 23 in Peterborough, 8 in Kawartha Lakes, and 1 in Haliburton.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 221 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (193 resolved with 5 deaths), 203 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (176 resolved with 32 deaths), 101 in Northumberland County (72 resolved with 1 death), 27 in Haliburton County (26 resolved with no deaths), and 156 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (114 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Peterborough on November 23.

Province-wide, there have been 121,746 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,824 from yesterday. This number includes 127 cases from Middlesex-London Health Unit reported over the previous three days that, due to a data processing error, were not included in previous daily reports. There are 103,239 resolved cases (84.8% of all cases), an increase of 1,541 from yesterday. There have been 3,712 deaths, an increase of 14 from yesterday, with 2,342 deaths in long-term care homes, an increase of 11 from yesterday. The number of hospitalizations has increased by 10 to 666, with 12 additional patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICUs and 1 additional patient on a ventilator. A total of 6,406,655 tests have been completed, an increase of 52,873 from yesterday, with 58,320 tests under investigation, an increase of 8,746 from yesterday.

The provincial data in this report is pulled from Ontario’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) at 12 p.m. the previous day. Data from local health units is more current and is usually reflected in the provincial data the following day. There may be discrepancies between the Ontario data reported today (which is from yesterday) and the local health unit data reported today (which is from today).

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Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health’s service area is the City and County of Peterborough and the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.

The health unit provides daily reports, including on weekends.

Confirmed positive: 221 (increase of 2)
Active cases: 23 (decrease of 1)
Close contacts: 46 (decrease of 4)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Resolved: 193 (increase of 3)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 10 (no change)*
Total tests completed: Over 37,000 (increase of 100)
Institutional outbreaks: Fairhaven (no change)

*The health unit is no longer reporting the total number of hospitalizations.

 

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s service area is the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, and Haliburton County.

The health unit provides reports from Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 331, including 203 in Kawartha Lakes, 101 in Northumberland, 27 in Haliburton (increase of 4, including 1 in Kawartha Lakes and 3 in Northumberland)
Active cases: 37, including 8 in Kawartha Lakes, 28 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (increase of 1 in Northumberland)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
High-risk contacts: 156, including 22 in Kawartha Lakes, 128 in Northumberland, and 6 in Haliburton (increase of 39, including 8 in Kawartha Lakes and 31 in Northumberland)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 16, including 11 in Kawartha Lakes, 4 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (no change)
Deaths: 33 (no change)
Resolved: 274, including 176 in Kawartha Lakes, 72 in Northumberland, 26 in Haliburton (increase of 3 in Northumberland)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

 

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s service area is Hastings County (including Bancroft) and Prince Edward County.

The health unit provides reports from Monday to Friday, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 156 (increase of 4)
Active cases: 39 (decrease of 5)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Currently hospitalized: 0 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU: 0 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator (total to date): 0 (no change)
Resolved: 114 (increase of 9)
New swabs completed: 5,036 (increase of 68)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

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Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 121,746 (increase of 1,824)*
Resolved: 103,239 (increase of 1,541, 84.8% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 666 (increase of 10)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 195 (increase of 12)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 107 (increase of 1)
Deaths: 3,712 (increase of 14)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 2,342 (increase of 11)
Total tests completed: 6,406,655 (increase of 52,873)
Tests under investigation: 58,320 (increase of 8,746)

*This number includes 127 cases from Middlesex-London Health Unit reported over the previous three days that, due to a data processing error, were not included in previous reports.

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from November 2 - December 2, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from November 2 – December 2, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from November 2 - December 2, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from November 2 – December 2, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)

 

For more information about COVID-19 in Ontario, visit covid-19.ontario.ca.

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COVID-19 outbreak continues at senior apartment complex in Fort St John – Energeticcity.ca

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – An outbreak of COVID-19 continues at a senior apartment complex, in Fort St. John, that is operated by the North Peace Seniors Housing Society.

According to Eryn Collins of Northern Health, as of Thursday, December 3, a total of 15 residents of been confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Collins says eight of those cases remain active and six have since recovered, with one resident having passed away due to the virus.

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Ontario reports more than 1800 new coronavirus cases, 14 more deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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Ontario is reporting more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases and 14 more deaths but Thursday’s case count reflects an overestimate due to a processing error.

Provincial health officials logged 1,824 new infections in the last 24 hours, up from the 1,723 new cases recorded on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry of Health, today’s total case count includes an overestimate of new cases from the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

“Due to a data processing error, the number of new cases for Middlesex-London Health Unit in today’s report (127 cases) represents cases reported over the previous three days,” a spokesperson said in an email to CP24.

Middlesex-London recorded zero new cases on Wednesday, a reduction of 10 on Tuesday and 14 on Monday. Many of the more recent cases from that region may involve a major COVID-19 outbreak at the London Health Sciences Centre.

Most of the province’s new cases continue to be from the GTA, particularly in the hot spots of Toronto and Peel and Region.

“Locally, there are 592 new cases in Peel, 396 in Toronto and 187 in York Region,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the GTA, Durham Region logged 57 new infections, down from 124 a day ago and Halton recorded 68 new cases, up from 45 on Wednesday.

Five of Ontario’s 34 public health units are recording zero new cases of the virus.

The seven-day rolling average now stands at 1,768 up from 1,427 a week ago.

Provincial health officials processed nearly 52,900 tests in the past 24 hours, up from more than 44,200 tests a day ago. More than 58,300 tests are currently under investigation.

The rise in testing helped drop the province’s positivity rate to at least 4.4 per cent, compared to 4.7 per cent a day ago, according to provincial health officials.

The province logged 1,707 new cases on Tuesday and 1,746 on Monday.

There are 1,541 more recoveries from the virus across the province bringing the total number of active cases to 14,795. A total of 3,712 Ontarians have now died from the virus.

Of today’s fatalities, 11 were long-term care home residents.

There are currently 116 long-term care homes with an active outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

To date, there have been more than 121,700 cases of the virus in Ontario since January and 103,239 recoveries.

Ontario hits 200-bed threshold for COVID-19 patients in ICU

The number of patients hospitalized with the virus continue to climb across the province amid a second wave of the disease.

There are currently 666 patients hospitalized with the virus in the province, up from 656 on Wednesday.

Of those hospitalized patients, 195 are in an intensive care unit (ICU) and 107 are breathing with the help of a ventilator, according to provincial health officials.

However, Dr. Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, told CP24 that the province reached the 200-bed threshold for COVID-19 patients in ICUs on Thursday, roughly five days earlier than provincial modelling data predicted.

The Ford government released its latest modelling on Nov. 12 and said that in all of their scenarios within roughly six weeks the 200-bed threshold would be reached, and that the 450-bed threshold would be reached under the worst case scenario.

The grim milestone comes after Elliott said Ontario hospitals are not “in a crisis” situation during a press conference on Wednesday.

“There is no question that many Ontario hospitals are under stress right now, particularly in the lockdown areas,” she said. “To say they are in crisis is not the case. Alberta is in crisis when you have to have double cohorts in a single intensive care room. That’s a crisis. We are not at that stage in Ontario.”

Meanwhile, GTA residents are anxiously waiting to learn if more regions will enter a lockdown, particularly the regions of York and Halton where cases continue to rise.

Toronto and Peel Region entered a 28-day lockdown on Nov. 23 to curb the spread of the virus in the hot spots.

Under the province’s grey “lockdown” level of it’s colour-coded COVID-19 response framework, restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery service and non-essential businesses can only provide curbside pickup. Gyms, movie theatres and casinos must also close their doors.

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