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, recently reporting 622 cases 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.
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 settings” cases until more contract tracers can be 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.
A day earlier, the province reported 6,230 active cases across Alberta, keeping 164 Albertans in hospital.
On Thursday, Hinshaw said Alberta’s two largest cities each have more than 2,500 cases, and a “high proportion” of cases 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.
COVID-19 kills 11 more B.C. residents, as hospitalizations return to record level – North Shore News
While the number of serious cases of COVID-19 in B.C. remains high, with a record 338 people in hospital – 13 more than yesterday – the number of those people in intensive care units fell by four overnight, to 76.
Deaths continue to mount, with 11 more individuals succumbing to the virus overnight, making the death toll 492, since the first COVID-19-related death in the province on March 9.
There were 711 new cases identified, for a total of 36,132 since the first case in B.C. was detected on January 28.
“Currently, 10,957 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 25,658 people who tested positive have recovered,” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement.
They broke the newly identified cases down by health region, as follows:
• 143 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 427 in Fraser Health;
• 10 in Island Health;
• 81 in Interior Health; and
• 50 in Northern Health.
While Fraser Health remains the hot spot in the province for infections, all regions are battling outbreaks. Northern Health’s 50 new infections is a high number for that remote region, and more than double the 23 cases that were identified yesterday.
Two new outbreaks at health care facilities are at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in Surrey, and at Richmond Hospital in Richmond.
The outbreak at Youville Residence in Vancouver is over.
Dix yesterday made clear that despite the high number of people in hospital, scheduled surgeries are being done.
Scheduled surgeries are sometimes referred to as “elective” or “non-urgent” surgeries, although no one elects to have surgery if it is not necessary.
Since the B.C. government restarted these surgeries on May 18, there have been:
• 49,100 completed in Fraser Health;
• 32,919 completed in Interior Health;
• 10,458 completed in Northern Health;
• 42,516 completed in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 37,543 completed in Island Health; and
• 7,266 completed in the Provincial Health Services Authority.
“There have been some questions about acute care capacity in recent days,” Dix. said. “In terms of our base bed capacity, it’s at 87.8%.”
When Dix added what he called “surge beds,” which would be extra beds added to the system, the province’s hospitals are now at 70.6% capacity.
“That’s the level of beds that are occupied overall in hospitals,” he said. “Just to put that in context, last year at this time, [bed occupancy] was at 103.5% of base-bed capacity.”
Dix said ICU base-bed capacity is at 76%, although when new beds that have been added are included, ICU wards across the province are at 54.6% capacity.
Dix has noted that what is needed in addition to beds is staff, and that this is one of the stresses in the system.
There are now nine hospitals in the province with active outbreaks:
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.
• West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni;
• Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanichton;
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver;
• Richmond Hospital in Richmond;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey.
In total, there are 56 seniors’ living facilities that have active outbreaks, and below is a full breakdown by health region.
There are 14 active outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and they include:
• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion, in Vancouver;
• Revera Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Columbus Residence in Vancouver;
• German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver;
• Lakeview Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Ascot Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• St. Judes Anglican Home in Vancouver;
• Three Links Care Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Villa Cathay Care Home in Vancouver; and
• Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver.
The 35 outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the Fraser Health region now include:
• Agassiz Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Agecare Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Al Hogg Pavilion in White Rock;
• Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Amica White Rock in White Rock;
• Baillie House long-term care home in Maple Ridge;
• Belvedere Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Chartwell Langley Gardens in Langley;
• Fellburn Care Centre long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• Finnish Manor in Burnaby;
• Fleetwood Villa Retirement Residence in Surrey;
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre 2 long-term care facility in Delta;
• Harrison Pointe retirement home in Langley;
• Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community long-term care in Port Coquitlam;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community assisted living in Port Coquitlam;
• Hollyrood Manor long-term care home in Maple Ridge;
• Jackman Manor in Langley Township;
• Laurel Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Society in Surrey;
• Northcrest Care Centre in Delta;
• Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in Surrey;
• PICS Assisted Living in Surrey;
• Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• Tabor Home in Abbotsford;
• The Residence at Clayton Heights in Surrey;
• The Residence in Mission;
• Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack; and
• White Rock Senior Village in White Rock.
There are three outbreaks at seniors’ homes in Northern Health:
• North Peace Seniors Housing Society buildings in Fort St. John;
• Rotary Manor Dawson Creek in Dawson Creek; and
• Gateway House long-term care home in Prince George.
Two outbreaks are at seniors’ living facilities in the Island Health region: Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni and Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in Victoria.
The Interior Health region has two seniors’ facility outbreaks, at Mountainview Village in Kelowna and Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna.
Manitoba extends state of emergency by 30 days – CTV News Winnipeg
The provincial government announced on Friday it would be extending Manitoba’s state of emergency by another 30 days.
The extension will take place on Sunday, December 6 at 4 p.m.
“Our province is constantly adapting to this evolving situation and taking the necessary steps to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and our health-care system,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler in a news release. “Manitobans need to work together to protect their families, friends and themselves.”
Manitoba first entered a state of emergency on March 20. Since then, the province has extended it eight times.
The news comes after Chief Provincial Public Health Office Dr. Brent Roussin announced another 320 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths.
So far, 18,069 Manitobans have been infected with COVID-19—9,172 cases are considered active, leaving 8,535 people listed as recovered, although this figure could be higher due to a backlog in data entry.
B.C.'s top doctor says be festive but with your own household to avoid COVID-19 – Times Colonist
VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor and the health minister are urging the public to slow the spread of COVID-19 this weekend by limiting any festive gatherings to immediate households.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix say 711 new infections have been recorded in the province and 11 more people have died, for a total of 492 fatalities.
They say in a joint statement that B.C. is continuing to see a significant surge in community transmission so all public health orders must be followed as more than 36,000 people have tested positive for the virus.
Henry has said it’s important to remain vigilant in containing the virus for the next few months and that everyone in the province who wants to be vaccinated could be immunized by September.
Nearly 11,000 people who have been identified as being exposed to the virus are being monitored and 25,658 people who tested positive have recovered.
The latest public health orders have meant the cancellation of adult indoor and outdoor team sports, though children can continue participating in local games without spectators.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.
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