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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Friday, Oct. 30 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

  • Starting next Monday (Nov. 2), the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.
  • As of last Monday (Oct. 26), there were outbreaks at 11 per cent of the province’s schools, or 101 schools, 39 of which had more than five cases. There were 680 cases in schools.
  • Alberta reported 477 new cases on Thursday, bringing the total active cases in the province to 4,921 — another new high after hitting record numbers nearly every day for the past week.
  • That comes after the province saw 1,440 new cases over the weekend — more than the number of cases reported in the entire month of June, and nearly as many as were reported in the month of May. 
  • Alberta’s data system will be undergoing some maintenance over the weekend, meaning no new numbers will be reported on Monday. Data updates are set to resume on Tuesday.
  • Five more people have died, bringing total deaths in the province to 318. 
  • There are 130 people in hospital, 18 of whom are in intensive care.
  • If you’re wondering how to handle Halloween this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some ideas on how to trick-or-treat, give out candy or celebrate in a different way — without the fear of catching or spreading the coronavirus.
  • The province has brought in new mandatory limits of 15 people at most social gatherings in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • The province is also recommending voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 
  • It also recommends that people in Edmonton and Calgary limit themselves to no more than three social cohorts.

(CBC)

What you need to know today in Alberta:

Alberta set another record on Thursday with 4,921 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 128 from the day before.

The death toll now sits at 318, up five from Wednesday. Five more deaths were reported on Thursday. They involved:

  • A man in his 40s from the South zone.
  • A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak in Agecare Skypointe in the Calgary zone.
  • A man in his 90s from the Calgary zone who was not a resident in continuing care.
  • A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Mount Royal Revera in the Calgary zone.
  • A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton General Care Centre. The death was the fifth linked to the outbreak and was announced Wednesday by Covenant Health.

Starting Monday, the COVID-19 symptom list for Albertans under the age of 18 is changing. Runny nose and sore throat will be removed from the list of symptoms that require mandatory isolation for children.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said the changes to the symptom list are intended to get children and teenagers back into child care or classrooms as quickly and safely as possible, while minimizing the risk of COVID-19.

In the last week, she said, more than 3,400 children and youth who were tested for COVID-19 reported having a sore throat. Just over 700 of them had a sore throat as their only symptom, and less than one per cent of their tests came back positive.

Meanwhile, the number of cases of COVID-19 among school-aged children in Alberta has again surged to a new high, while the number of kids and teens being tested continues to decline.

Data from Alberta Health shows the number of new daily cases has continued to rise among five- to nine-year-olds and has again shot up, especially, among 10- to 19-year-olds.

Over the past week on record, an average of 85 cases were recorded per day among school-aged kids and teens.

As of Monday, there were outbreaks at 11 per cent of the province’s schools, or 101 schools, 39 of which had more than five cases. There were 680 cases in schools.

Alberta has reported a total of 27,042 cases since the pandemic began. Before this past week, which set new records on multiple days in a row, the highest active case total was 3,022, which was reported on April 30 at the peak of the first wave.

The active case rate per 100,000 people is 121 in Calgary and 183 in Edmonton. 

A snapshot of the active COVID-19 cases by health district in Calgary as of Oct. 28. (CBC)

A new temporary measure, which caps attendance at 15 for events where people will be “mixing and mingling” like parties and baby showers, applies in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.

The province is also recommending two voluntary measures in both cities: wearing non-medical masks in all indoor work settings, except where people are alone in an office or cubicle, or a barrier is in place, and limiting themselves to no more than three cohorts. 

The federal minimum security Pê Sâkâstêw Centre in Maskwacis has been locked down after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19. Another three staff members are self-isolating at home. 

A spokesperson for Correctional Service Canada told CBC News they don’t believe the infected employees were in close contact with any of the inmates.

An outbreak at the Calgary Correctional Centre has gotten bigger, according to new numbers provided by Alberta Health Services. As of Thursday, 100 inmates and 18 staff members have tested positive.

Albertans have been administered more than 597,000 doses of the flu shot so far this year, an increase of more than 50,000 when compared to the same time period last year.

“Thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of influenza, and helping our health system stay focused on the pandemic response,” Hinshaw said Thursday.

Health officials have said this year it is more important than ever to get the flu shot because of the pandemic. 

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

  • Edmonton zone: 2,277, an increase of 22 from the day before.
  • Calgary zone: 1,879, an increase of 91 from the day before.
  • North zone: 325, an increase of one from the day before.
  • South zone: 256, the same as the day before.
  • Central zone: 162, an increase of two from the day before.
  • Unknown: 22, a decrease of two from the day before.  

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 7:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Canada had 228,542 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases, with 27,259 of those active. Provinces and territories listed 191,209 as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 10,074.

In Ontario, new provincial projections for COVID-19 show that virus growth is slowing and the province is seeing a “more gentle curve” than it was initially preparing for, public health officials say.

Quebec reported 1,030 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 more deaths on Thursday, as federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu confirmed that the province would be receiving a much larger batch of rapid COVID-19 testing kits than previously announced.

The province will receive about 453,000 in total, with a little less than half of that order expected to arrive by the end of this week. That means Quebec will receive about 37 per cent of the 1.2 million kits being deployed across Canada by the federal government.

Saskatchewan reported 82 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the record for the highest single-day jump in new cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Manitoba also had a record-breaking day Thursday with 193 new cases and 97 people in hospital with the illness — both new highs for the province. It also announced one new death.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on Canadians suffering from mental illness, opioid addiction and other substance abuse problems, says a new study released today by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which confirms anecdotal reports warning that the pandemic’s health consequences extend well beyond the novel coronavirus itself.

(CBC News)

Self-assessment and supports:

With winter cold and influenza season approaching, Alberta Health Services will prioritize Albertans for testing who have symptoms, and those groups which are at higher risk of getting or spreading the virus.

General asymptomatic testing is no longer available to anyone, but voluntary asymptomatic testing is available to:

  • School teachers and staff.
  • Health-care workers.
  • Staff and residents at long-term care and congregate living facilities.
  • Any Albertans experiencing homelessness.
  • Travellers requiring a test before departure.

Additional groups can also access asymptomatic testing if required.

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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COVID-19: A record 941 new cases in B.C. and 10 additional deaths – Vancouver Sun

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Article content continued

“By talking to your children about wearing their masks in school, you can help us create that respectful culture of mask wearing,” said Mooring, who conceded that there are some staff and students who, for various reasons, can’t wear masks and some learning situations where masks are inappropriate.

Henry said Monday that students are in schools with a group of people they see day-to-day, unlike businesses where people interact with others they don’t know, necessitating wearing a mask. She did say she supports mask wearing in common areas and among adults at schools.

B.C. health officials say there are currently 10,283 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of exposure to known cases. A further 19,605 people who tested positive have since recovered.

A total of 358 people have died from COVID-19 in B.C. since the pandemic began, while 284 people are currently being treated in hospital, including 61 who are in critical care.

The province announced two new health care facility outbreaks at Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack and Little Mountain Place care home in Vancouver, while an outbreak at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge in Richmond has been declared over.

Meanwhile, Vancouver Coastal Health has issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for a popular downtown Vancouver pub. The health agency says anyone who visited The Morrissey at 1227 Granville Street on either Nov. 12 or 13, between 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on both days, may have been exposed to the virus and should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Those with symptoms are advised to call their family doctor or 811, seek testing and self-isolate.

MORE TO COME

With a file from The Canadian Press

sbrown@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/browniescott

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Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com.

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941 new COVID-19 cases, 10 deaths reported as B.C. continues to shatter records – Global News

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B.C. reported a record-high 941 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 10 new deaths.

The total shattered the previous daily record of 762 cases recorded last week.

Of the new cases, 678 were in the Fraser Health region and 174 were in Vancouver Coastal Health.






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Coronavirus: B.C. orders all indoor group fitness activities to close immediately


Coronavirus: B.C. orders all indoor group fitness activities to close immediately

The 10 deaths brought B.C.’s COVID-19 death toll to 358.

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The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose by seven to 284, a new record high. Of those, 61 are in intensive care, an increase of three from Monday when the province reported 1,933 new COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths over a span of three days.


Click to play video 'Christmas events put ‘on hold’ by pandemic'



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Christmas events put ‘on hold’ by pandemic


Christmas events put ‘on hold’ by pandemic

There are 7,732 active cases in the province and a total of 10,283 people are in self-isolation due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Read more:
10 deaths and 762 new cases as B.C. breaks COVID-19 records again

Earlier in the day, the province ordered all gymnastic centres, dance studios, martial arts venues and yoga studios in British Columbia to close immediately while new guidance is being developed.


Click to play video 'B.C. releases November 2020 coronavirus modelling data'



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B.C. releases November 2020 coronavirus modelling data


B.C. releases November 2020 coronavirus modelling data – Nov 12, 2020

Last week, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new orders, including a mandatory mask mandate in indoor public spaces, the extension of Lower Mainland restrictions on social gatherings and a suspension on in-person religious services.

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Read more:
B.C. on track to see 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day if changes not made: Modelling numbers

The order put the brakes on holiday events such as the VanDusen Festival of Lights, the Stanley Park Bright Nights Christmas Train or The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

On Nov. 12, Henry released modelling data that indicated British Columbia could see more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day if people don’t cut down on contacts.

— With files from Richard Zussman

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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B.C. dance studios, other indoor group activity spaces must close amid COVID-19 restrictions – Global News

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​All gymnastic centres, dance studios, martial arts venues and yoga studios in British Columbia must immediately close, according to the province.

The new guidelines were posted on the B.C. government website Tuesday under the heading “Athletic Activities.”

“Venues that organize or operate other types of indoor group physical activities must suspend them temporarily while new guidance is being developed,” the website reads.

“Venues must use the new guidance to update and re-post their COVID-19 Safety Plan before resuming operations.”


Click to play video 'Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school'



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Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school


Fraser Health declares outbreak at Chilliwack dance school – Nov 3, 2020

The new guidelines also apply to venues for pilates, strength and conditioning, and cheerleading.

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In a statement, the Ministry of Health notes the province is constantly learning about the virus and updating guidance based on what we are seeing around the world, across Canada and in B.C.

“Right now we are seeing record COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations in our communities, and this is putting a strain on our testing staff, contact tracers, and frontline health-care workers,” the statement reads.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

“The orders issued last week by the Provincial Health Officer are to reduce the rapid transmission we are seeing in indoor settings, including during group fitness activities.”


Click to play video 'Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging'



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Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging


Metro Vancouver indoor fitness studios frustrated by mixed messaging

The new guidance is being finalized and is expected to be available this week. Facilities will not need to seek permission from local health authorities before opening, but there will be increased inspections to ensure facilities are complying with the new guidelines.

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The measures are part of sweeping, and sometimes confusing, new rules that aim to cut down on social gatherings in the province.

Businesses that close due to COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible for rent support from the Government of Canada.

Dance studio operators have repeatedly expressed frustration about being shut down as part of the COVID-19 measures and many insist they have health and safety plans in place to ensure the virus does not spread.

But dance studios have also been the site of major outbreak events, include 30 cases linked to a studio in Chilliwack.


Click to play video 'Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure'



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Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure


Edmonton girl pens letter to MLA questioning dance studio closure – Nov 15, 2020

Read more:
Dancers, studio owners urge B.C. to remove them from latest COVID-19 restrictions

A group of dance studio owners and dance parents are supporting an online petition that calls for dance studios to be exempt from the provincial orders.

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“It is unfair for us to be targeted. We have suffered from March onwards as we have navigated COVID protocols with no overseeing sports or arts organization, with decreased participation due to reluctant parents and little rent relief as it was left optional for our landlords,” petition creator Denise Akester writes.

“We have worked tirelessly to keep dance spaces safe so children can return and continue what they love. We understand that B.C. is in the middle of a health crisis and increased measures need to be taken but we also think it is unjust to ask us to shoulder this burden when we are already providing the safest environment possible and we are not responsible for the recent dramatic increase in cases.”

New research and advice from provincial health officers around the world have led B.C. officials to express concerns about indoor, group physical activities.

The province has shut down high-risk indoor group physical activities — such as spin classes, hot yoga and high-intensity interval training — indefinitely. These businesses will not be able to create a new health and safety plan for now because the province does not know how to create guidelines that would prevent transmission in these settings.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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