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'We need to be cooperative:' Winnipeg anesthesiologist calls on people to come together against COVID-19 – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
A Winnipeg anesthesiologist is hopeful Manitoba’s new public health orders will curb the spread of the COVID-19.

Dr. Renate Singh put out a call earlier this week that was widely shared on social media, pleading with people to stay home.

“It’s unfortunate but completely necessary to keep people apart from each other,” Singh said in an interview.

Singh works at two hospitals, Grace and the Health Sciences Centre, and has seen first-hand how COVID-19 is straining the system.

She feels frustrated some people are disputing what health officials and frontline providers are saying about capacity issues in hospitals.

“We need to be cooperative,” said Singh. “We need to get this under control.”

Singh hopes people summon the same collective spirit they have used to fight floods and weather storms to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

“It makes me very sad and very frustrated that I can’t see the same level of cooperation here, in a state of local emergency where our hospital is being challenged,” Singh said.

Just this week she saw her colleagues in intensive care tending to COVID-19 patients on ventilators in the emergency department, who were waiting for places to go.

In a Facebook post on Sunday calling on people to do their part, Singh shared photos of a recovery room turned intensive care unit to make more space for COVID-19 patients.

“No system has limitless resources,” Singh said. “Eventually, if people don’t come together in some sort of collective effort to slow this down, the system will get overwhelmed.”

As hospital resources are stretched, Singh and her colleagues at HSC have received messages of appreciation and support from grade five and six students at École George V School.

“The messages that stand out the most for me from these young students is their promise to ask their loved ones to stay home,” said Shared Health’s chief nursing officer Lanette Siragusa.

A message that comes at a critical time.

Siragusa said as of midnight, 90 of 100 ICU beds in the province were occupied.

“Nearly half of the ICU patients, 43 of them have COVID,” said Siragusa. “Thirty-three of the 66 patients who are ventilated have COVID-19.”

In the past three weeks alone, nearly 900 elective and non-elective surgeries have been postponed.

Singh continues to work in the operating room with the patients who require urgent procedures, but she’s willing and prepared for redeployment to help in the ICUs if needed.

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Here are all the events that are affected by the new COVID-19 orders in B.C. – Vancouver Is Awesome

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Last week, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a host of new restrictions in the wake of surging cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the province. 

B.C.’s top doctor stated that all British Columbians are ordered to stop any non-essential travel outside of their respective health regions until Dec. 7. Several other indoor activities will be put on hold, as well as all community-based gatherings. 

Today, Henry clarified what events and gatherings must be postponed under the new order during the daily COVID-19 news briefing. She underscored that all events are postponed, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor. That said, these events aren’t cancelled, but “on pause.”

She added that many of the province’s beloved Christmas and holiday events will be postponed, too. 

“If we are able to get into a place of control, then some of these lower-risk events may happen again,” said Henry. “But right now, we need to stop all of those opportunities for us to congregate, to go out and do things socially.”

Movie theatres have also been suspended, as well as events at bars and restaurants. However, bars and restaurants will remain open because they offer important ways to ensure that people get meals, explained Henry. 

Art galleries are permitted to have people browsing their collections on a daily basis as long as they have strict COVID-19 safety plans in place. But exhibition openings, larger gatherings and events at galleries must also be postponed. 

What is considered an event?

In the updated public health order, “event” refers to anything which gathers people together whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis. All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order are temporarily suspended. 

The following events are not permitted under the new health order: 

  • a gathering in vacation accommodation
  • a private residence
  • banquet hall or another place
  • a party
  • worship service
  • ceremony or celebration of any type
  • reception
  • wedding
  • funeral
  • celebration of life
  • musical, theatrical or dance entertainment or performance
  • live band performance, disc jockey performance
  • strip dancing
  • comedic act
  • art show
  • magic show
  • puppet show
  • fashion show
  • book signing
  • reading
  • recitation
  • display
  • movie
  • film
  • meeting
  • conference
  • lecture
  • talk
  • educational presentation (except in a school or post-secondary educational institution)
  • auction
  • fundraising benefit
  • contest
  • competition
  • quiz
  • game
  • rally
  • festival
  • presentation
  • demonstration
  • athletic
  • sporting or other physical activity
  • exhibition
  • market or fair, including a trade fair, agricultural fair, seasonal fair or episodic indoor event that has as its primary purpose the sale of merchandise or services e.g. Christmas craft markets, home shows, antique fairs and the like and for certainty includes a gathering preceding or following another event.

Social gatherings and events

No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:

  • Do not invite friends or extended family to your household 
  • Do not host gathering outdoors
  • Do not gather in your backyard
  • Do not have playdates for children

All events and community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gatherings and Events (PDF) are suspended. For example:

  • Galas
  • Musical or theatre performances
  • Seasonal activities
  • Silent auctions

The order is in effect from Nov. 19 at midnight to Dec. 7 at midnight.

Earlier today, Henry announced a staggering 1,933 new cases of COVID-19 in the province over three days, as well as 17 fatalities. 

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1,933 COVID-19 cases over weekend, ‘very real’ strain on B.C. health care: top doctor – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 shows no indication of slowing down, and the stress rising cases and outbreaks are putting on the health-care system is “very real,” according to the provincial health officer.

On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry reported a combined total of 1,933 new COVID-19 infections over the weekend.

Seventeen more people died from the virus over the weekend. The majority of them were from the Fraser Health region and the rest were from Vancouver Coastal. Since the start of the pandemic, 348 people have died from the virus, most of them were residents in long-term care, said Henry.

RELATED: 10 COVID-19 deaths in B.C. amid record hospitalizations, dropping daily case count

A record 277 people are currently hospitalized because of the coronavirus, with 59 in critical care. And with nearly 1,000 active cases in long-term care, Henry said it is a very “sobering thought” knowing how challenging outbreaks can be in those facilities.

“We need to urgently reduce the level of transmission in our province to keep our schools, and workplaces open, and relieve that very real stress we are seeing right now on our health-care system,” she said.

Henry asked British Columbians to take seriously the COVID-19 restrictions implemented last week, which are aimed at reducing social interactions to curb transmission.

RELATED: Mandatory masks in indoor public spaces among new B.C. COVID-19 restrictions

“Simply put, we all need to focus on making a difference,” she said. “Now, for these next few weeks in this province, all of us need to stop these events and pause, so that we can get control of this virus.”

Influenza not as prevalent

However, there is some positive news regarding the province’s healthcare system.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said there is no indication the influenza is circulating in the community.

Henry clarified that there are usually 700 to 800 positive flu tests this time of year. As of last week, there were around seven.

“We think, and we hope that this will continue and is partly because of the measures we have in place to prevent COVID-19 because it is transmitted in very similar ways,” she said.

Health officials had worried the healthcare system would be battling COVID-19 and the flu at the same time this winter.

Dix also said there haven’t been any flu outbreaks in long-term care.

But there are six more healthcare facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks: North Peace Seniors Housing Society in Fort St. John, Queen’s Park Care Center in New West Minster, Care Life Fleetwood in Surrey, Sunset Manor in Chilliwack, Renfrew Care Center in Vancouver, and Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver. The outbreaks at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital and Evergreen Baptist Care Society are over.

Meanwhile, Alberta reported 1,549 new COVID-19 infections Monday, while parts of Ontario move into tighter restrictions.

B.C.’s restrictions are in place until Dec. 7.

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COVID-19: Close to 2,000 cases and 17 deaths reported in B.C. over past three days – Vancouver Sun

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Article content continued

She said Fraser Health accounted for 67 per cent of all the cases reported over the past three days. Fraser Health is responsible for 36 per cent of B.C.’s population.

Henry said there were 10,200 people in isolation after being exposed to the disease. There were six outbreaks reported at health-care facilities over the past three days.

She said the pandemic would likely have three parts, and B.C. was in the midst of the second part.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the rate of influenza in B.C. was “exceptionally low.” More than one million flu vaccines have been administered in the province over the past six weeks.

Henry said that rapid testing was not available for long-term care facilities in B.C., and if it was these tests had faults and limitations. Rapid testing is however used in the film and television industry in B.C.

More to come.


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