The outbreak has grown at one of Vernon’s long-term care homes.
Heritage Square is reporting nine new cases, up from 10 when the 27th Street facility first announced the outbreak Dec. 27.
Heritage Square was the first care home to report an outbreak of the virus.
Since then, cases have been identified in two other homes: Noric House and The Hamlets.
All individuals in close contact with those infected are in self-isolation and monitoring for symptoms. Families of residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 have been contacted directly.
Interior Health and the operator will continue to monitor the situation while implementing additional infection control and preventive measures. This includes:
- Monitoring of all residents for respiratory symptoms and doing COVID-19 testing on anyone with COVID-19 symptoms;
- Enhanced cleaning protocols and COVID-19 visitor policies.
Heritage Square is a private long-term care and assisted living facility operated by Kaigo. The operator has implemented a temporary stop to all visits across the site as an added precaution.
13 new North Atlantic right whale calves recorded this season – CBC.ca
Thirteen North Atlantic whale calves have been spotted off the coast of the southern United States — more than the number born in a single winter since 2016.
The calves, recorded only about halfway through the calving season, are reason for “guarded optimism” about the endangered whale’s population, a researcher says.
“In 2018 we didn’t have any calves born and we’ve had ten or less in most of the previous five years,” said Philip Hamilton, a research scientist with the Anderson Cabot Centre for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium. “So that’s very positive news.”
Calving season for North Atlantic right whales typically runs from the start of December to the end of March. So, it’s possible this could be the first year in a long time the population hits a supposed reproduction average.
Scientists expect 23 calves a year
Hamilton said that given the current state of the whale population, scientists would expect an average of around 23 calves a year. That hasn’t happened in years, likely because of the stress whales are experiencing finding enough food.
The North Atlantic right whale population have recently moved into unfamiliar and more hazardous waters in search of a dwindling food supply.
While there are some first-time mothers with calves this year, several of the mothers haven’t reproduced in a decade.
“On average a right whale should be able to give birth every three or four years, and some of the mothers that are giving birth this year have gone 10 or 11 years without calving,” said Hamilton. “So, there’s a backlog of whales that should be able to calve and it’s really encouraging that they are.”
‘We need to stop killing these animals’
Hamilton says he is optimistic about this year’s calving season, but says it’s important to put things into context.
“We really need to stop killing these animals,” said Hamilton. “We’ve had 32 deaths between 2017 … we know that we’re missing probably two-thirds of the deaths.”
Hamilton estimates that as many as 100 of the whales may have died in the last four years.
Necropsies determined that many of them were killed as a result of blunt trauma likely due to being struck by passing ships. Entanglement in fishing gear has been cited as a cause of deaths.
Both Canada and the United States have implemented restrictions to curb the number of North Atlantic right whale deaths in recent years.
“Clearly we’re not doing enough,” Hamilton said. “Not enough, when we have a population of around 350.”
Starlink satellite internet grants instant sign-up for eligible Canadians – Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Article content continued
In a CBC article, some Starlink subscribers have reported service speeds of up to 150Mbps.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) granted Starlink’s operator, SpaceX, a Basic International Telecommunications Service (BITS) license in October 2020. The license allows SpaceX to provide telecommunication services in Canada but does not allow it to operate as an internet service provider within the issuing nation.
SpaceX granted basic telecom license in Canada
Starlink says it aims to establish a global network by using a massive constellation of satellites. The satellites float at low earth orbit, which both cuts down on signal latency and can more easily return to earth once they’re decommissioned. But stargazers are worried that the massive amount of satellites could obscure the view of the night sky.
The company has expressed a keen interest in providing internet service to rural and underserved areas in Canada and the United States. It’s currently extending beta testing offers in Canada, U.S. and U.K.
Starlink says it has launched 955 satellites so far.
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Two more Interior residents died from COVID-19, for a total of 57 – Vernon News – Castanet.net
Yet another resident of Vernon’s Noric House care home has died from COVID-19, while another Interior resident has died in hospital.
The two new deaths bring the total COVID-19 deaths in the Interior to 57. Of these, 39 were residents of long-term care homes. Provincewide, the virus claimed the lives of 13 others in the past 24 hours.
“I know people are fatigued by the impact COVID-19 on our day-to-day lives. However, the ongoing challenges of this pandemic shows us we need to continue to be vigilant and compassionate,” said Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health. “We all need to do our part to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our communities.”
The single death at Noric House comes after IH announced two residents died there Wednesday. To date, five residents of the care home have died from the virus.
There remains outbreaks declared at seven Interior care homes:
- Brocklehurst Gemstone in Kamloops – 17 residents (one new) and seven staff (two new), one death
- Sunnybank in Oliver – 26 residents and nine staff, two deaths
- Creekside Landing in Vernon – 20 residents and 15 staff (three new), one death
- Williams Lake Seniors Village – one resident and one staff
- Noric House in Vernon – 34 residents (two new) and 21 staff (two new), five deaths
- Heritage Square in Vernon – 47 residents and 20 staff (two new), seven deaths
- Heritage Retirement Residence in West Kelowna – 41 residents and five staff, three deaths
There remains 11 staff at Williams Lake’s Cariboo Memorial Hospital who’ve tested positive for the virus, while the outbreak connected to the Teck Mining operation remains contained to 17 Interior Health residents.
Meanwhile, a staff member at Vernon’s Carrington Place retirement residence recently tested positive for the virus, but an outbreak has not been declared there.
Interior Health said Thursday that the response to the COVID-19 outbreak at Oliver’s McKinney Place care home, where 17 residents died, is under a formal review. That outbreak, the worst in the Interior Health region, was declared over earlier this week.
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