Two deaths have been linked to a 25-person COVID-19 outbreak at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
The province released this information as part of its report ‘Epidemiology of COVID-19 in Manitoba: March 12 to May 1, 2020.’
According to the report, the outbreak began on March 30 and was declared over on May 8. In total, there were 25 cases associated with this outbreak: 16 staff members, five patients, and four from households or close contacts of cases.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial public health officer, didn’t know whether these two fatalities were infected in hospital.
“This is quite separate than the public health work,” Roussin said.
“The public health work gets done, even as we speak there are cases now, there are cases being reported, people are investigating them. Reporting is just another aspect of it.”
When asked about why the province hasn’t disclosed more information on outbreaks, Health Minister Cameron Friesen said the province accepts the advice of public health officials.
“Our chief has been clear in Manitoba that when there is a value in actually declaring what the name of a business is or more information, that has been done,” Friesen said.
“When we’ve felt there is a public health interest we accept the advice of the public health officer when it comes to those matters.”
This news comes at the same time the province released its weekly surveillance report from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29, which monitors the intensity, geographic spread, characteristics, and transmission of COVID-19 in Manitoba.
This data shows in the span of one week there were six new COVID-19 outbreaks in the province, going from a total of eight outbreaks to 14 since the start of the pandemic.
Of these new six outbreaks, five were in long-term care facilities.
The province is also reporting that between Aug. 23 and Aug. 29, eight more healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19. The numbers show that since the start of the pandemic, 69 healthcare workers have contracted the disease, an increase of eight people from the previous week. The majority of these workers – 61 of them – have recovered and returned to work.
The surveillance information shows that 20 of these workers are healthcare aides, 17 are nurses, nine are physicians or physicians in training, five are social/support workers, four are medical clerks, and 14 fall into a combined category.
The majority of the healthcare workers – 62 per cent – contracted COVID-19 due to close contact with a known case, 17 per cent got it from travel, and for the other 20 per cent, the source is unknown.
The Manitoba government is also reporting that since the start of the pandemic, 16 pregnant women have tested positive for the disease, which is an increase of four cases from the week before.
During the week of Aug. 23 to Aug. 29, Manitoba saw a decrease from the previous week in terms of lab-confirmed cases and the positivity rate. The total number of lab-confirmed cases was 224, down from 272, and the test positivity rate moved from 2.5 per cent to two per cent.
Out of these 224 cases, about half were in the Prairie Mountain Health region, 30 per cent were in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and 18 per cent Southern Health region. There were also seven cases in the Interlake-Eastern region.
The province noted about 70 per cent of cases this week were from close contact to known cases, and five per cent were travel-related.
B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19 – Abbotsford News
B.C. is reporting 91 new cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths as of Wednesday (Sept. 23), provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Deputy Health Minister Stephen Brown said in a joint statement.
There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began. The death toll remains at 227.
This is the second day in a row that new infections have remained under 100 per day. The number of patients in hospital grew by one to 62, although the number in ICU dropped from 22 to 18.
Health officials said there have been no new health-care facility outbreaks, and that the outbreaks at Bear Creek Villa independent-living facility and Normanna long-term care facility are now over. There are a total of 14 health-care facilities with outbreaks of the virus; nine are long-term care or assisted living facilities, while five are acute care centres. There have also been no new community exposure events and the outbreak at a Loblaws warehouse is now over.
However, health officials said they were still concerned about how many new COVID-19 infections there were in the province.
“New cases and clusters of COVID-19 remain higher than where we would like them to be,” Henry and Brown said.
“The impact of this means that thousands of people in B.C. are now under active public health monitoring and care, with many forced to deal with the stress and anxiety that comes with having to self-isolate away from work, friends and family.”
In total, there are 3,368 people under public health monitoring and 1,376 active cases, a drop of 89 in the latter figure.
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Coronavirus: Younger demographics lead infections in Manitoba, Canada – Global News
Federal officials warn the virus will continue to spread unless some early pandemic precautions are re-adopted and close contacts are reduced.
“We’re on the brink of a fall that could be much worse than the spring,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an address to the nation Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Manitoba began to see an increase in cases in August after a spring and early summer plateau — it started with clusters in western and southern Manitoba, before September surges in Winnipeg rocketed the total number of infections to 1,674 as of Wednesday.
As of Sept. 23, 369 people aged 20-to-29 have been infected in the province — the heaviest-hit demographic, based on provincial data.
The second-hardest hit demographic — 30-to-39-year-olds — has seen 318 people infected, according to provincial data.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, pleaded with younger people to take precautions seriously in a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday in which she and other public health officials warned infections country-wide could potentially increase to 155,795 total cases and 9,300 deaths by Oct. 2.
“Young people were part of the collective solution to crushing the spring wave and now with incidence rates in this age cohort, they are a critical element in the solution. We need to ramp up the defences and stop a big resurgence from occurring,” Tam said.
“I am making a special call-out to young Canadians: we need your ingenuity and your drive because we won’t get COVID-19 back on the slow burn track without your help.
“This is your generation, this is your time, you’ve got this.”
People aged 10-19 are the fifth-hardest hit demographic — 191 youth have been infected.
Most but not all teenagers are taking COVID-19 precautions — handwashing, mask-wearing and physical distancing — seriously, Winnipeg high school students told Global News Wednesday.
“Personally, I am. Not everybody is, but personally I am,” said Grant Park High School student Zane Schellenberg.
“It’s really half and half, a lot of people are saying it’s like a joke… but then a lot of other people are saying it’s really real, and some of them don’t even come to school. It’s really an equal bunch,” said Samantha Keen, a student at the same school, adding that most people she knows aren’t attending large parties.
“I feel like some people just don’t think they should take it seriously because a bunch of young people don’t really get affected, but I feel like they should because like if I got infected and I infected my grandparents or something… that wouldn’t be very fun,” said Catherine Caparas, another Grant Park High School student.
Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor urges youth to share ideas on how to limit COVID-19 transmission
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Ontario to review COVID-19 symptoms list for schools, minister says – Sudbury.com
TORONTO — Ontario’s education minister says he is considering shortening the list of COVID-19 symptoms that require kids to stay home from school.
Stephen Lecce says he is working with the province’s medical officials to consider possible changes to the list.
British Columbia shortened its list earlier this week by removing 10 symptoms, prompting Ontario to review the data behind that decision.
Officials in B.C. removed symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose, and headaches from their list.
Ontario’s school reopening plan requires parents to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms and keep them home if they display signs of the virus.
Students are permitted to return to class when they no longer display symptoms.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 23, 2020.
The Canadian Press
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