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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, Oct. 2 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

  • A fifth patient has died and a total of 67 cases are now tied to the outbreaks at Calgary’s Foothills hospital: 35 patients, including five fatalities, 29 health-care workers, and three visitors who were in contact with patients linked to the outbreaks. Another 154 staff, bringing the total to 290, are self-isolating. 
  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 200 Albertans have been infected with COVID-19 through outbreaks at hospitals, leading to 17 deaths.
  • Another 173 people in Alberta tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total active cases to 1,596, up 14 since the last update on Wednesday.
  • Across the province, 52 schools have reported outbreaks of two to four cases. Another seven schools are on the watch list, meaning they have five or more cases. 
  • Cases of COVID-19 have been rising among school-aged kids and teens in Alberta over the past week, but so too has the number of young people being tested.
  • Data from Alberta Health shows the number of new daily cases increasing among both five- to nine-year-olds and 10- to 19-year-olds.
  • Mount Royal University in Calgary announced Friday that it will continue delivering most classes online during the Winter 2021 semester.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

A total of 67 patients, staff and visitors have tested positive for COVID-19 at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. It’s the second largest outbreak tied to a health-care institution in the province since the pandemic began.

Alberta Health Services said Thursday there are a total of 35 positive patient cases linked to the outbreaks, 29 positive health-care workers, as well as three positive visitors. 

Five patients have died, including a man in his 70s whose death was announced on the weekend, an 82-year-old man who had been in a cardiac unit suffering from congestive heart failure since August and a woman in her 70s in the cardiac unit. 

As of Thursday, 290 health-care workers were self-isolating. AHS said that number would be updated twice weekly.

An outbreak has also been declared in one unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton. According to Alberta Health Services, the outbreak involves three health-care workers. At-risk patients in the unit have been tested and no positive COVID-19 cases have been identified among patients. AHS did not identify which health unit was affected.

The largest outbreak at a health-care institution so far in the province involved the Misericordia Community Hospital in west Edmonton, which has reopened after closing its doors to new patients in early July in response to a full-facility outbreak that killed 11 and infected 58.

There are 1,596 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta as of Thursday. Of the 64 people in hospital, 12 are in intensive care.

Here’s the regional breakdown of active cases reported on Thursday:

  • Edmonton zone: 851 cases, up 18 from Wednesday’s update. 
  • Calgary zone: 587 cases, up 2.
  • North zone: 102 cases, down 6.
  • South zone: 32 cases, down 5.
  • Central zone: 19 cases, unchanged.
  • Unknown: 5 cases, up 4.

(CBC)

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says the province won’t be cancelling Halloween over COVID-19 fears.

The province has released a series of guidelines on its website about how both trick-or-treaters and candy handers can enjoy the night safely.

A snapshot of the active cases by neighbourhood in Calgary as of Oct. 1. (CBC)

Find out which neighbourhoods or communities have the most cases, how hard people of different ages have been hit, the ages of people in hospital, how Alberta compares to other provinces and more in: Here are the latest COVID-19 statistics for Alberta — and what they mean

What you need to know today in Canada:

As of 8:15 a.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 160,535 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 136,350 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,356.

The federal government is giving $600 million to help small- and medium-sized businesses deal with possible lockdowns amid a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Radio-Canada has learned.

The funding — aimed at sectors including tourism, manufacturing and technology — will be added to the $962 million already invested in the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. The announcement will be made Friday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Liberal government is also spending $10 billion in infrastructure initiatives such as broadband, clean energy and agricultural projects as part of its plan to boost growth and create one million jobs after the pandemic pummelled the economy.

Most Quebecers began a 28-day quasi-quarantine period on Thursday in a state of confusion about what, suddenly, they aren’t allowed to do. 

The five million people living in Quebec’s COVID-19 red zones — which include Montreal and Quebec City — have been ordered to keep their interactions with friends and family to the bare minimum. But the wording of the new rules is hazy in places, and has generated a litany of questions about what possible exceptions might apply.

Air Canada has ordered 25,000 testing kits that can detect COVID-19 in someone in as little as five minutes, a key hurdle for an industry that’s desperately trying to make it safe and possible for travellers to fly again.

The first batch of tests will be for employee volunteers, now that the devices by Abbott Laboratories have been approved for use in Canada by federal health and safety authorities, the airline said Thursday.

Canadians living in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to return home as they watch coronavirus case numbers rise sharply in that country.

As many as 95,000 Canadians are estimated to have been living in the U.K. in  2019, according to data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics.

Canada’s economy continued its recovery in July from the first wave of COVID-19, with the country’s gross domestic product expanding by three per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Wednesday that all 20 sectors of the economy grew as businesses continued to reopen and tried to get back to some sense of normal after lockdowns in March and April.

The federal government is offering to send the Canadian Red Cross into COVID-19 hotspots as case numbers rise and parts of the country slip into a second wave, according to sources.

A senior government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the government has been reaching out to hard-hit regions recently experiencing outbreaks and surges.

Self-assessment and supports:

Alberta Health Services has an online self-assessment tool that you can use to determine if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but testing is open to anyone, even without symptoms. 

The province says Albertans who have returned to Canada from other countries must self-isolate. Unless your situation is critical and requires a call to 911, Albertans are advised to call Health Link at 811 before visiting a physician, hospital or other health-care facility.

If you have symptoms, even mild, you are to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until the symptoms have disappeared. 

You can find Alberta Health Services’ latest coronavirus updates here.

The province also operates a confidential mental health support line at 1-877-303-2642 and addiction help line at 1-866-332-2322, both available 24 hours a day. 

Online resources are available for advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk with children.

There is a 24-hour family violence information line at 310-1818 to get anonymous help in more than 170 languages, and Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-403-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Canadian Press NewsAlert: Quebec reaches more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19 – TimminsToday

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MONTREAL — Quebec reached more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, becoming the first province in Canada to hit the somber milestone since the pandemic began in March.

But despite remaining the country’s coronavirus epicentre, public health experts say a recent downward trend of infections is an encouraging sign.

“It’s a moment where we all sit up and say wow, 100,000 – that’s a lot of zeroes,” said Erin Strumpf, an associate professor at McGill University specialized in health economics.

“But again I think the more important thing to be paying attention to is the trend that we’ve been seeing recently in the province.”

The province reported 879 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 100,114 infections since the start of the pandemic.

The curve of new infections appears to have flattened over the past few weeks though, Strumpf said in an interview.

That downward trend, she said, coincides with stricter public health guidelines that aimed to stem the spread of the virus.

The government ordered the closure of bars and gyms, among other places, in hard-hit areas and advised residents to limit their contact with people who do not live in their households.

Montreal and Quebec City are among several Quebec regions that remain under the highest COVID-19 alert.

Strumpf said it is hard to pinpoint what exact measures are responsible for flattening the curve, however.

She added that she expects to see many public health restrictions remain in place moving forward. “It’s very difficult to know right now or to predict how long those closures may stay in place,” she said.

Still, the high COVID-19 infection numbers bring up painful memories for Quebecers who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

July Mak, whose 68-year-old father Paul contracted COVID-19 in a long-term care home in Montreal and died at the end of March, said the pain of her father’s death has not eased with time.

“To see these numbers this high… it blows my mind,” Mak said in an interview Sunday.

She said she wants the Quebec government to recognize that its COVID-19 data is more than just numbers — and thousands of people across the province have been directly affected.

“They mattered,” Mak said, about the thousands who have died.

On Sunday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of new infections is “stable but remains high.”

Those cases can turn into hospitalizations and deaths, Dube warned, urging Quebecers to remain vigilant to reduce transmission.

Quebec health officials also reported 11 additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 6,143.

Five of those additional deaths took place in the past 24 hours, five were reported between Oct. 18-23 and one occurred at an unspecified date.

Hospitalizations went up by two across the province, for a total of 551. Of those, 97 people were in intensive care — an increase of four compared to the previous day.

The province said it conducted 25,378 COVID-19 tests on Friday, the last date for which the testing data is available.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, The Canadian Press

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Exclusive: Montreal to convert downtown hotel to 380-bed homeless shelter for COVID-19 winter – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
The City of Montreal is set to take over a downtown hotel to house hundreds of homeless people this winter, creating the city’s bigger shelter by far, CTV has confirmed.

A formal announcement is set for Thursday. The deal means the hotel, which hasn’t yet been named, will get funding in order to give over its rooms until March 31.

The hotel is currently an active hotel, not a vacant property. The facility will be run by the Welcome Hall Mission.

The plan, according to a source who has been working on the file, is to put dividers in each of its rooms and therefore house two people per room.

That will create spots for 380 homeless Montrealers. 

By comparison, the Macaulay men’s shelter at the Welcome Hall Mission has 110 spots, the old Royal Victoria Hospital, which has been in use since last winter, can house 175, and other shelters are significantly smaller.

The hotel’s public funding will come from the local health authority. 

The announcement, slated for Thursday at 1 p.m., will include other new plans for winter resources for the homeless. 

Earlier this year, when COVID-19 first hit Canada, Toronto leased hotels to provide emergency housing for homeless Torontonians as well.

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Canadian Press NewsAlert: Quebec reaches more than 100000 total cases of COVID-19 – Vancouver Courier

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MONTREAL — Quebec reached more than 100,000 total cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, becoming the first province in Canada to hit the somber milestone since the pandemic began in March.

But despite remaining the country’s coronavirus epicentre, public health experts say a recent downward trend of infections is an encouraging sign.

article continues below

“It’s a moment where we all sit up and say wow, 100,000 – that’s a lot of zeroes,” said Erin Strumpf, an associate professor at McGill University specialized in health economics.

“But again I think the more important thing to be paying attention to is the trend that we’ve been seeing recently in the province.”

The province reported 879 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 100,114infections since the start of the pandemic.

The curve of new infections appears to have flattened over the past few weeks though, Strumpf said in an interview.

That downward trend, she said, coincides with stricter public health guidelines that aimed to stem the spread of the virus.

The government ordered the closure of bars and gyms, among other places, in hard-hit areas and advised residents to limit their contact with people who do not live in their households.

Montreal and Quebec City are among several Quebec regions that remain under the highest COVID-19 alert.

Strumpf said it is hard to pinpoint what exact measures are responsible for flattening the curve, however.

She added that she expects to see many public health restrictions remain in place moving forward. “It’s very difficult to know right now or to predict how long those closures may stay in place,” she said.

Still, the high COVID-19 infection numbers bring up painful memories for Quebecers who lost loved ones during the pandemic.

July Mak, whose 68-year-old father Paul contracted COVID-19 in a long-term care home in Montreal and died at the end of March, said the pain of her father’s death has not eased with time.

“To see these numbers this high… it blows my mind,” Mak said in an interview Sunday.

She said she wants the Quebec government to recognize that its COVID-19 data is more than just numbers — and thousands of people across the province have been directly affected.

“They mattered,” Mak said, about the thousands who have died.

On Sunday, Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube said on Twitter that the number of new infections is “stable but remains high.”

Those cases can turn into hospitalizations and deaths, Dube warned, urging Quebecers to remain vigilant to reduce transmission.

Quebec health officials also reported 11 additional deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 6,143.

Five of those additional deaths took place in the past 24 hours, five were reported between Oct. 18-23 and one occurred at an unspecified date.

Hospitalizations went up by two across the province, for a total of 551. Of those, 97 people were in intensive care — an increase of four compared to the previous day.

The province said it conducted 25,378 COVID-19 tests on Friday, the last date for which the testing data is available.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2020.

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