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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Alberta on Thursday, Sept. 24 – CBC.ca

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The latest:

  • A COVID-19 outbreak that has hit three units within Foothills hospital in Calgary has claimed three lives as of Wednesday, with 17 other patients and nine staff testing positive. A total of 114 staff are in isolation.
  • 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.
  • Two more people in Alberta have died from COVID-19, and 143 new cases were reported Wednesday, bringing the province’s total active cases to 1,520, down by 45 from the previous day’s total of 1,565.
  • The most recent deaths were a woman in her 80s in the Calgary zone and a woman in her 70s whose death was linked to an outbreak at Heimstaed Lodge in La Crete, 670 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
  • There have been 260 deaths from the disease in Alberta since the pandemic began in early March.
  • As of Wednesday, there were 27 schools with outbreaks, out of more than 2,400 in the province: 10 schools in the Calgary zone, 11 in the Edmonton zone, one in Lethbridge, one in St. Albert, one in Okotoks and three in northern Alberta.
  • Austin O’Brien in Edmonton became the fourth school in the province on the AHS watch list, meaning schools with outbreaks of five or more cases, joining Vimy Ridge and Highlands School in Edmonton and St. Wilfrid in Calgary.
  • There are now three schools in the province where it’s believed in-school transmission occurred.
  • Alberta’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, is scheduled to give an update at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday and CBC Alberta will carry it live on the website and on Facebook.

What you need to know today in Alberta:

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

  • Calgary zone: 481, down 4 from Tuesday.
  • Edmonton zone: 821, up 1.
  • North zone: 155, down 33.
  • Central zone: 20, down 4.
  • South zone: 38, down 3.
  • Unknown: 5, down 2.

Premier Jason Kenney gave a news conference Thursday with the Alberta government’s response to Wednesday’s  throne speech, saying he sees grounds for more constitutional challenges should the federal Liberal government follow through with its promises.

He says there was nothing in the Trudeau government’s plan for the ailing oil and gas sector, an industry that has suffered thousands of job losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy industry slump.

He also told reporters federal government plans jeopardize global investments in Alberta’s forestry and fertilizer sectors — moves the premier believes are an infringement on Alberta’s right to develop its own natural resources.

The University of Calgary announced on Thursday that classes will continue to be delivered with a blend of face-to-face and online formats for the winter semester.

Departments will structure face-to-face course components with a 30-student maximum cap as a guideline, with some possible exceptions. The winter term will see a reopening of University of Calgary campuses from 20 per cent to 30 per cent in-person learning, the school said.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared on three units at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. Three patients have died, and 17 other patients and nine staff members have tested positive, according to Alberta Health Services. AHS said all at-risk patients are being offered testing, and contact tracing for anyone who may have been in contact with infected individuals is ongoing. 

There are 1,520 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta. Of the 59 people in hospital, 13 are in intensive care.

(CBC)

As of Wednesday, there were 27 schools with outbreaks: 10 schools in the Calgary zone, 11 in the Edmonton zone, one in Lethbridge, one in St. Albert, one in Okotoks and three in northern Alberta.

Four schools in Alberta, Vimy Ridge, Highlands and Austin O’Brien in Edmonton, and St. Wilfrid Elementary in Calgary, are under watch status, which means they have outbreaks of five or more cases.

COVID survivor support websites have popped up across the globe with individuals expressing concerns about the lingering impact of the virus. Many complain of persistent cough, breathing problems, fatigue and chest and joint pain.

A snapshot of the active cases by neighbourhood in Calgary as of Sept. 23. (CBC)

Organizers of Edmonton’s Camp Pekiwewin are calling for more robust COVID-19 support at the Rossdale encampment as health officials confirm the first reported cases in Edmonton’s homeless community. 

With COVID-19 cases spiking in the city and Alberta Health Services confirming an outbreak linked to Edmonton’s largest shelter on Wednesday, Pekiwewin organizers want the city and province to take action to prevent the virus from sweeping through the camp. 

Six people linked to the Hope Mission’s emergency shelter have tested positive for COVID-19, Alberta Health Services said Wednesday. 

AHS spokesperson Sabrina Atwal said they began investigating after one person in the homeless population tested positive. Atwal confirmed that all six cases are clients — the first reported among Edmonton’s homeless community.

Health workers continue to do contact tracing and swab tests on those who may have been exposed.

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 5 a.m. ET on Thursday, Canada had 147,753 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 127,788 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 9,285.

The fate of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s minority Liberal government hangs in the balance as Parliament resumes all normal operations today for the first time in six months.

Opposition parties will give their official responses to Wednesday’s speech from the throne, but they’ve already signalled that Trudeau can’t count on support from any of them to survive the eventual confidence vote and avoid plunging the country into an election in the midst of a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario wants to avoid imposing lockdown-style measures to combat a second wave of COVID-19 but is prepared to take “targeted action” such as closing certain higher-risk businesses, CBC News has learned. 

CBC News obtained a copy of Ontario’s fall pandemic preparedness plan, still in draft form even as Premier Doug Ford’s government is in the midst of announcing some of its elements.

The 21-page draft, provided by a government source this week, acknowledges the recent upsurge in new COVID-19 cases, and lays out three possible scenarios of what the second wave could look like: small, moderate or large.

CBC News has dug deep into the data collected by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to examine how COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, affects the young, the elderly, men and women in order to better understand what’s most likely to land you in hospital — or worse.

Among the findings:

  • In the early days, people over 80 years old made up the largest group getting sick as long-term care homes were hit hard, but CBC’s analysis reveals that since mid-August, infections among young people (under 30) now outnumber the elderly. 
  • Close to 10 per cent of people who tested positive for coronavirus ended up in hospital, according to the cases tracked by PHAC, with two per cent landing in ICU — especially in certain age groups.
  • Six per cent of cases have been fatal, with huge differences in terms of ages and, to a lesser extent, gender.

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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Hospitals struggle as 20 European countries record highest daily number of COVID cases – ABC News

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Europe’s coronavirus second wave is in full swing with 20 countries on the continent, including the UK, Italy and Switzerland, reporting record numbers of COVID-19 infections.

The UK topped the list with 26,668 new cases and 191 coronavirus-related deaths in the previous 24 hours, while Italy recorded an additional 15,199 infections, up from its previous record of 11,705 on Sunday.

The Czech Republic saw an increase of 11,984 cases on Wednesday, while Poland recorded 10,040 and Switzerland had 5,596 new infections.

The records are following a worrying trend in Europe which is forcing governments to reintroduce restrictions on social interaction and hospitality services throughout the continent.

According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Europe has registered more than 5 million cases and 200,000 deaths, with new cases beginning to rise sharply from the end of September.

Meanwhile, Spain has become the first western European country to reach more than 1 million confirmed cases after reporting 16,973 additional cases in the past 24 hours.

The country has 34,366 confirmed deaths.

European Union leaders will hold a video-conference next week to discuss how to better cooperate as the infections rise.

Hospitals struggle to cope

A group of health workers in PPE surround a male patient on a stretcher
Health authorities across Europe are worried about hospital bed and ICU capacity as COVID-19 cases soar.(Reuters: Eric Gaillard)

With case numbers that were brought largely under control by lockdowns in March and April now surging, authorities in countries from Poland to Portugal have expressed mounting alarm at the renewed crisis confronting their health infrastructure.

Belgium, struggling with what its health minister called a “tsunami” of infections, is postponing all non-essential hospital procedures, and similar measures are looming in other countries where case numbers have been rising relentlessly.

“If the rhythm of the past week continues, rescheduling and suspending some non-priority activities will become unavoidable,” Julio Pascual, medical director at Barcelona’s Hospital del Mar, told Reuters.

European countries boast some of the world’s best health services and doctors say that with the benefit of almost a year’s experience with coronavirus, they are much better equipped to treat individual patients clinically.

But the capacity of hospitals to handle a wave of COVID-19 patients, as well as people suffering from cancer, heart disease and other serious conditions, is still vulnerable.

Dutch health authorities said if the number of COVID patients in hospital wards continues to grow, three quarters of regular care may have to be scrapped by the end of November, and there were similar warnings from Czech authorities.

“We have hit a wall on clinical beds,” Wouter van der Horst, spokesman for the Dutch hospital association NVZ, said.

‘We couldn’t get to everyone’

As hospital admissions have spiralled, much attention has been focused on intensive care units, which came close to being overwhelmed in many areas during the first wave of the crisis.

On Wednesday authorities in Lombardy, the Italian region at the centre of the first wave of the pandemic, ordered the reopening of special temporary intensive care units set up in Milan and Bergamo that were shut down as case numbers receded.

Already, a number of regional health authorities in Germany, one of the countries that dealt with the first wave most effectively, have agreed to take in intensive care patients from other countries.

The ECDC said that some 19 per cent of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 are estimated to have ended up in hospital and eight per cent of those could require intensive care, but variations are wide both across Europe and within individual countries.

On Wednesday, Poland’s Health Minister said up to 30 per cent of new cases there could end up being hospitalised.

There has also been concern over the track and trace systems meant to keep local outbreaks of the disease under control but those systems have proven ineffective in many areas.

Authorities in Ireland, where the five-day case average has tripled since the start of October, said there were no longer enough officials to keep the system working.

Niamh O’Beirne, national lead for testing and tracing, told RTE radio that contact tracing centres had seen “unprecedented demand” with exponential growth in the number of cases, “and over the week we simply couldn’t get to everyone”.

ABC/wires

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Fraser Health names two weddings for potential coronavirus exposure | News – Daily Hive

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Fraser Health is alerting the public about two weddings this month where guests could have been exposed to coronavirus.

The two weddings in the Fraser Health region both happened on October 10. The first was in Port Moody at Saint St. Grill. The exposure time applies all day from 5 am to 11 pm.

The second was in Mission at Lake Errock, again from 5 am to 11 pm.

The alert comes on the same day that Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry threatened further restrictions could be enacted as social gatherings including weddings and funerals fuel the province’s second wave of coronavirus cases.

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Ontario reports 841 new COVID-19 cases and another hospital outbreak

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A COVID-19 outbreak at a Quebec pork-processing plant grew Thursday as Manitoba expanded its restrictions and Alberta announced a testing pilot at two international border crossings that it hopes will eventually boost its ailing travel industry.

Olymel said 62 workers at its plant southeast of Quebec City had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The union representing plant workers is calling for a temporary closure, but the company says it is following guidance from public health officials who have not recommended a shutdown.

One worker died following a positive test result, but it wasn’t yet determined whether the death was due to the novel coronavirus.

Quebec, the province hardest-hit by COVID-19, reported 1,033 new cases Thursday and 20 additional deaths. Five hundred and fifty-three people were in hospital, including 101 in intensive care.

Premier Francois Legault said chances are slim restaurants in Quebec’s largest cities will be allowed to reopen this month as the province continue to report daily case increases in the quadruple digits.

Montreal and Quebec City have been under a 28-day partial lockdown since Oct. 1.

“At this time, we need to reduce even the risk of contact because we cannot afford to continue having about 1,000 new cases every day,” Legault said.

Manitoba reported four COVID-19 fatalities on Thursday in its deadliest day yet.

Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health officer, announced 147 new cases — 87 in Winnipeg, where more restrictions on restaurants, pubs and gathering sizes came into effect this week.

He said the measures will also apply to the northern health region and Churchill starting next week. Extra measures are being put in place for schools in the Winnipeg area and the north starting Monday, including cancelling field trips, banning choirs and wind instruments and requiring substitute teachers to wear medical masks.

Manitoba’s daily test positivity rate is up to 5.6 per cent.

“We have to change things. We fell back on the fundamentals,” Roussin said. “We got back to all that normalcy that we want, but we just know this is what happens when we attempt that.”

Also Thursday, the European Union’s council reimposed a travel ban on Canada, reversing a decision in June that lifted entry restrictions on a number of non-EU countries. Europe is battling a second wave of the pandemic.

In Alberta, Premier Jason Kenney announced a joint federal-provincial pilot project that will enable international travellers re-entering Canada via the Calgary International Airport or the Coutts land border crossing from Montana to avoid a full 14-day quarantine. Instead, they would only have to isolate for a matter of days.

The pilot is to begin on Nov. 2 and is open to asymptomatic travellers returning to Canada who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals permitted to enter Canada.

“Though a lot of work lies ahead, we can see a return to normal travel,” said Kenney. “The results will help shape provincial and federal policy and ultimately they’ll help to find a new approach for international travel.”

Those who voluntarily participate will receive a COVID-19 test upon entry into Canada before going into quarantine. If the result is negative, they can leave, as long as they promise to get tested six or seven days later at a pharmacy.

Participants will be subject to daily symptom checks and will have to wear masks in public places and avoid visiting high-risk groups.

Anyone who chooses not to get a test will still have to quarantine for two weeks.

Kenney said the provincial tourism industry has suffered a 63 per cent drop in spending this year. He also noted that three per cent of the province’s active cases were acquired through travel.

“We must find ways to bring back safe travel if we’re ever going to get the economy firing again on all cylinders.”

Kenney made his remarks by phone as he was self-isolating at home. The premier tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, but said he will remain in isolation for another week.

Kenney attended events with Municipal Affairs Minister Tracy Allard, who contracted COVID-19 last week.

Alberta reported 427 new infections in Thursday’s update, a new record and the second day in a row its daily case count breached the 400 mark. Its test positivity rate was at three per cent on Wednesday.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said his government is keeping a “sharp eye” on the Alberta border pilot project.

“I’d be open to it, but I just first want to see what’s happening in Calgary,” said Ford, who noted that Pearson International Airport in Toronto gets far more volume and international traffic.

Ontario reported 841 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as two more Toronto hospitals declared outbreaks.

Canada’s most populous province also recorded nine more deaths and had a daily test positivity rate of 2.5 per cent.

Two hundred and seventy people were in hospital, including 74 in intensive care and 48 on ventilators.

The Scarborough Health Network said six patients were infected in one unit at its general hospital, and the University Health Network said it was dealing with an outbreak involving four patients at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have also declared outbreaks among staff or patients.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2020.

Source: – Kamloops This Week

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