Toronto has reached a grim milestone in its ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, with the city’s medical officer of health confirming Toronto has now hit 1,000 deaths.
Three months ago, on March 18, the city had experienced only 16 deaths connected to the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Eileen de Villa issued a statement Thursday, calling the current death toll a “tragic milestone.
“This is an immeasurable loss experienced by so many people across our city and beyond,” she said.
“It is so important for us to take a moment, to look beyond these numbers and remember that each death represents a unique life. An individual with a personal story, who had an impact on us and our community. One thousand people have died from COVID-19 and have left behind friends, family members and neighbours.”
De Villa also said Torontonians’ commitment to public health measures has helped the city avoid what could have been a “much worse” situation.
To contextualize the death toll, she noted that 44 people from the GTA died of SARS in 2003, and each year Toronto sees about 1,000 deaths from heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
“Sadly, given that the virus is still circulating and there is no effective treatment or vaccine, we should anticipate that we will continue to see deaths from COVID-19 in our community,” she said.
Not everything is bad news, though. While deaths and positive cases have risen steadily throughout most of the pandemic, data suggests the situation in Toronto has improved over the past several weeks.
Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have effectively plateaued since early June.
In April, Toronto was routinely reporting upwards of 20 daily deaths.
The city has recorded 13,588 total confirmed cases of the disease, of which 11,397 people have now recovered.
Ontario is reporting 2,550 deaths province-wide. However, a CBC News count based on data from regional public health units puts the real toll at at least 2,603.
The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and on ventilators is also in a steady decline across Ontario.
Montreal has recorded the most COVID-19 deaths of any Canadian city by far, with its latest count showing 3,238 deaths.
21 new cases of COVID-19 detected in BC Wednesday, no new deaths – CBC.ca
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said they were “concerned” about the recent growth in COVID-19 case numbers, as they provided an update on B.C.’s caseload Wednesday.
In a written statement, the health officials reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths related to the disease.
it follows the announcement Monday of 62 new cases over the weekend and 13 new cases Tuesday.
Henry and Dix say community transmission is becoming a problem in the province and urged people to obey advice to keep the spread of the coronavirus in check.
“We are concerned about the increase in new cases in recent days, as COVID-19 continues to silently circulate in our communities,” they said in their statement. “While early on, many of our long-term care and assisted living facilities were impacted, most of the new cases are in the broader community.
“As we spend more time with others, we need to find our balance with COVID-19. We need to minimize the number of cases, manage new cases as they emerge and modify our activities accordingly.”
With Wednesday’s case numbers included, the province has had a total of 3,149 novel coronavirus cases to date and 189 deaths have been connected to COVID-19, while 2,753 people have recovered.
Two of Wednesday’s cases were epidemiologically linked cases, meaning they were never tested but are presumed to have the disease as they are showing symptoms and were in close contact with someone who tested positive for the disease.
No new outbreaks
The province also put the number of known cases that are still active at 207.
Fourteen people are in hospital, including five in intensive care. The rest are recovering at home in self-isolation, the officials said.
No new outbreaks were reported in either health-care settings or the community Wednesday. That leaves B.C. with two long-term care or assisted-living facilities with active outbreaks and one acute-care setting with an active outbreak.
There remains one active outbreak in the community, the statement said, “in addition to several community exposure events.”
B.C. reports more than 20 COVID-19 cases for 6th time in a week – Globalnews.ca
British Columbia reported 21 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday and no new deaths.
The province did not hold a live briefing, but reported the numbers in a statement.
It is the sixth time in the last week that the province has reported 20 or more cases in a 24-hour period, after new cases stayed in the teens or single digits for more than a month.
B.C. sees slight increase in daily COVID-19 cases
The province saw the number of new cases begin to top 20 almost exactly two weeks after B.C. moved into Phase 3 of its pandemic reopening plan.
B.C. has now recorded 3,149 cases of COVID-19, 14 of which are epi-linked. Of those, 2,753 people have recovered, and 189 people have died, leaving 207 active cases.
Fourteen people are in hospital with the virus Wednesday, five of them in critical care.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,023 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,659 in the Fraser Health region, 135 in the Island Health region, 216 in the Interior Health region, 65 in the Northern Health region and 51 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Moderna's coronavirus vaccine ready to advance to final phase of testing – CBS News
The firstvaccine tested in the U.S. revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported Tuesday. The shots are poised to begin key final testing.
“No matter how you slice this, this is good news,”, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press.
The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and, will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.
But Tuesday, researchers reported anxiously awaited findings from the first 45 volunteers whoback in March. Sure enough, the vaccine provided a hoped-for immune boost.
Those early volunteers developed what are calledin their bloodstream — molecules key to blocking infection — at levels comparable to those found in people who survived COVID-19, the research team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“This is an essential building block that is needed to move forward with the trials that could actually determine whether the vaccine does protect against infection,” said Dr. Lisa Jackson of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle, who led the study.
There’s no guarantee but the government hopes to have results around the end of the year — record-setting speed for developing a vaccine.
“Our goal is to have a vaccine available for broad distribution by year-end or early next year,”president Stephen Hoge in May, after seeing preliminary data on the Phase 1 trial. “If we and others build data that shows that the vaccine has a potential for benefit, that it’s safe and has a potential for efficacy, then, of course, there are circumstances where the vaccine could be deployed to high-risk populations earlier under something called an Emergency Use Authorization. Really though, that’s a decision that regulators, in particular the FDA, have to make.”
The vaccine requires two doses, a month apart.
There were no serious side effects. But more than half the study participants reported flu-like reactions to the shots that aren’t uncommon with other vaccines — fatigue, headache, chills, fever and pain at the injection site. For three participants given the highest dose, those reactions were more severe; that dose isn’t being pursued.
Some of those reactions are similar to coronavirus symptoms but they’re temporary, lasting about a day and occur right after vaccination, researchers noted.
“Small price to pay for protection against COVID,” said Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a vaccine expert who wasn’t involved with the study.
He called the early results “a good first step,” and is optimistic that final testing could deliver answers about whether it’s really safe and effective by the beginning of next year.
“It would be wonderful. But that assumes everything’s working right on schedule,” Schaffner cautioned.
And Tuesday’s results only included younger adults. The first-step testing later was expanded to include dozens of older adults, the age group most at risk from COVID-19. Those results aren’t public yet but regulators are evaluating them, and Fauci said final testing will include older adults, as well as people with chronic health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus — and Black and Latino populations likewise affected.
Nearly two dozenare in various stages of testing around the world. Candidates from China and Britain’s also are entering final testing stages.
The 30,000-person study will mark the world’s largest study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine so far. And the NIH-developed shot isn’t the only one set for such massive U.S. testing, crucial to spot rare side effects. The government plans similar large studies of the Oxford candidate and another by Johnson & Johnson; separately, Pfizer Inc. is planning its own huge study.
Already, people can start signing up to volunteer for the different studies.
People think “this is a race for one winner. Me, I’m cheering every one of them on,” said Fauci, who directs NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We need multiple vaccines. We need vaccines for the world, not only for our own country.”
Around the world, governments are investing in stockpiles of hundreds of millions of doses of the different candidates, in hopes of speedily starting inoculations if any are proven to work.
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