There have been 49 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the Region of Waterloo as the area prepares to move into the red restriction tier on Monday.
The Saturday afternoon update also showed the total number of cases increasing by 47, a number that can differentiate at times from new cases due to previous counting errors.
There were also 44 more resolved cases reported, the active case count increased by three, while the number of those hospitalized and COVID-related deaths remained the same.
This brings the Waterloo Region totals to 2,958 cases, 2,500 resolved, 336 active cases, 22 hospitalized, and 122 deaths.
Four new facility outbreaks have been declared in the area. Two different industrial workplaces each have three cases attributed to them, an unnamed food and beverage establishment has four cases connected to it, while a dance class at a sports and recreation facility is listed to two cases.
In Ontario, yet another single-day record was broken on Saturday with 1,588 cases confirmed.
This is the 16th straight day in which the province has reported case counts in the quadruple digits.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 102,378, including the 3,472 deaths and the 86,079 recoveries.
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Two hospital systems gave Thanksgiving updates on their coronavirus caseloads, both saying that cases are rising in their hospitals but expressing confidence in their ability to deal with the increasing case load.
One hospital system said, the situation now is “nothing approaching what we experienced in March,” and another system echoing that saying they are “well within our ability to handle.”
Mt. Sinai healthcare system’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Vicki LoPachin, said in a note Wednesday, that coronavirus cases continue to rise across the Mt. Sinai health system but that the current number of cases “is still within our projections, and well within our ability to handle.”
“Our COVID-19 inpatient census remains at less than 10 percent of what we saw at the peak in the spring,” LoPachin said. “And we do not believe we will ever see anything close to those prior numbers.”
Dr. Craig Smith, chair of the department of surgery at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, which is also affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospital system, said in a message Thursday that the new Covid-19 case curve is “unequivocally positive” but nothing approaching “what we experienced in March.”
Smith’s candid updates during the heat of the coronavirus crisis in New York gained a large following in the spring.
Smith said NYP and CU have a “meticulous plan” for staffing changes if the surge in cases increases quickly, and that at this time, the systems are not close to a level where non-urgent surgeries would need to be canceled in order to deal with an influx of cases.
Smith also said the institutions are in the process of planning “thorough plans” for vaccine distribution.
On Wednesday morning, the system had 157 Covid-19-positive patients admitted to their hospitals, 25 of whom were in critical care.
LoPachin warned Mt. Sinai healthcare workers to “relax, recharge and prepare for the work ahead” as coronavirus case numbers are expected to increase, as some ignore warnings against gathering for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“We know that many people will ignore the warnings and gather unsafely with their families tomorrow, and that the patients with new COVID-19 infections resulting from those gatherings will arrive in our hospitals in the next few weeks,” LoPachin said. “Your family needs you, your colleagues need you, and your patients need you, now more than ever.”
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Who's getting sick (and who's not) in Nova Scotia's second wave – CBC.ca
With the onset of COVID’s second wave in Nova Scotia, the picture of who is getting sick in this province has changed.
“It is focused in that 18 to 35 demographic,” Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief medical officer of health, said Thursday in a briefing.
“That is just the nature of this virus when you get it in an age demographic where social activity is an important part of the way they live.”
All age groups had cases during the first wave, but the focus turned to outbreaks among seniors as COVID-19 spread from the community to staff and residents in the province’s nursing homes.
The first wave
Just over half of Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 cases from March to the end of September were people of prime working age, between 20 and 59 years old.
A further 21 per cent fit into the 60 to 79 age bracket, and 17 per cent were over 80 years old. About 10 per cent were 19 and under.
Overall, 61 per cent of the cases were women and 39 per cent were men.
The outbreak at the Northwood long-term care facility in Halifax alone accounted for 345 cases between staff and residents. Smaller outbreaks were reported in at least seven other long-term care or seniors facilities around the province.
More residents in long-term care tend to be women, as women have a longer life expectancy than men. Staff in long-term care are also more likely to be female.
Experts in aging and long-term care have said this is one reason why the first wave showed an uneven gender split that was weighted toward women.
The second wave
At this point in Nova Scotia’s second wave — which Strang said began at the start of October — the age and gender split looks very different.
Between Oct. 1 and Strang’s briefing on Nov. 24, a full 71 per cent of COVID-19 cases fell in the 20 to 39 age bracket. Trailing that group were people between 40 and 59 years old, who made up 13 per cent of the cases.
Ten per cent of the cases were 0 to 19 years old, and seven per cent were 60 to 79.
No cases had been recorded in the 80 and older age bracket as of Nov. 24.
The gender split has also switched, with 55 per cent of cases in the second wave being male and 45 per cent female.
What’s to come
The second wave is not over and it is still possible that older age groups or nursing homes could get hit hard again, which is why the province has set up isolation units in six long-term care homes and hospitals.
Younger adults are less likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19, although it can happen.
“If you look at the vast majority of our positive cases in the last several weeks, they’ve been young adults,” Strang said.
“Lots of social life, going out to work…. as we’re testing contacts, there’s been a number who’ve been asymptomatic. But there’s also been many who have very mild symptoms.”
And that can be problematic.
Strang said the very fact that young people are experiencing mild symptoms — or none at all — makes them excellent transmitters of a virus that isn’t going away any time soon.
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