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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Oct. 24 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments:

What’s the latest?

The majority of COVID-19-related claims to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) from workers in Ottawa involve employees in long-term care facilities and retirement homes, but a union that represents many of those workers believes the number should be much higher.

The Ontario Medical Association says some doctors who accept expired health cards aren’t getting reimbursed, despite a decision by the provincial government to show leniency during the pandemic.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 88 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, and five more people with COVID-19 in Ottawa have died.

How many cases are there?

As of Thursday’s update from Ottawa Public Health (OPH), 6,384 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

There are 676 known active cases, 5,394 resolved cases and 314 deaths.

Public health officials have reported more than 9,700 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 8,200 of them resolved.

Seventy-two people with COVID-19 have died elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 36 in western Quebec.

What can I do?

Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with or one other home if people live alone to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In Ottawa — which has been rolled back to a modified Stage 2 — and Gatineau, Que., health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it’s essential. 

A masked pedestrian walks by a Bank Street mural in Ottawa in September. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

Indoor dining at restaurants has been prohibited, while gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.

Dr. Vera Etches, the capital’s medical officer of health, said earlier this month the national capital’s health-care system is on the verge of collapse.

OPH and some eastern Ontario health units are urging people not to have a Halloween party with other households or go trick-or-treating.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said to listen to local officials but a rule of thumb if trick-or-treating is allowed, people should stick to their neighbourhood and do it outside with their household only.

The Kingston area’s health unit is one that says it can be done safely this year if done differently.

Gatineau and parts of the Outaouais are now on red alert, which means restaurants and bars can’t serve people indoors, organized sports are suspended and theatres must close.

Quebecers are also urged not to travel to Ontario or between regions at different levels on its scale except for essential reasons.

Even though most of the region has been declared a red zone, Premier François Legault said kids can trick-or-treat as long as they don’t go with friends and precautions are taken when giving out candy.

What about schools?

There have been more than 180 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:

Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there’s a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.

As of mid-October, a small fraction of Ottawa students and staff had tested positive.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don’t live with — even with a mask on.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended outdoors when people can’t distance from others.

Anyone with symptoms or who’s ordered to do so by their local public health unit should self-isolate. The duration is subject to a range stipulated by health officials in both Ontario and Quebec.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. 

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province.

Anyone seeking a test should now book an appointment. Different sites in the area have different ways to book, including over the phone or going in person to get a time slot.

Testing numbers have been lower than the groups running it would like and they want people to know there are often same-day appointments available.

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.

Ottawa has five permanent test sites, with additional mobile sites deployed wherever demand is particularly high.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls.

Kingston’s test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area’s other test site is in Napanee. Both are open seven days a week.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.

They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. It expects to bring back its mobile site in the spring.

Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. 

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.

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Revelstoke feeling impact of COVID-19 cluster – radionl.com

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Local leaders in Revelstoke say there’s no signs yet that the resort municipality is turning a corner, as it deals with a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, there were 46 cases connected to the cluster and 32 active cases, which has now spread to a local elementary school.

City councillor Cody Younker says there’s concern that the number of cases is probably going to grow before the situation improves.

“My fear, and I think most of the community’s fear, especially our mayor by the statement he put out this morning, is that it sounds like this is still pre-emptive and it’s probably going to get a lot worse. We base that just off of what we’re hearing from more restaurants closing down, confirming they’ve now had exposures. More businesses, now a school exposure.”

Revelstoke Mountain Resort also opened last weekend, and Younker says he’s waiting to see if that has any impact on the virus spreading.

“The ski hill, I mean, I have to commend them. From what I saw in the pictures of what they put up, they did a really good job of ensuring social distancing in the lines. Compared to years previous when you’re just basically packed in like sardines. But still obviously really concerned about that,” Younker says.

“Thousands of people using the ski hill, many still riding up in the gondola together. Congregating in the parking lots, that kind of thing. I saw a large group walking downtown Friday and Saturday night. Just by my house even, in the downtown core, there were large groups walking down the streets. Not sure where they were going but concerning, of course, to see that.”

Now a week after the cluster was first reported, Younker says the reality has set in for residents about the cluster, saying many residents have actually done “an amazing job” to follow public health orders and to avoid non-essential travel out of their homes.

But he points out it feels a bit like a “ghost town.”

“There’s no nightlife, obviously most of the restaurants have moved to take out. A few more have just confirmed exposures in the last few days so now they’ve shut down. So in that sense it’s actually gotten better, in the sense that there’s less people congregating downtown. But worse, in fear of obviously what it’s going to do to the economy and local businesses.”

Yesterday, Revelstoke mayor Gary Sulz warned people to avoid travelling to the community while the cluster of cases remains, saying cases are likely still going to go up and he doesn’t want the virus spread to other communities or places like care homes.

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WHO updates mask advice, recommending they be worn in indoor, poorly ventilated areas – CBC.ca

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The World Health Organization on Wednesday tightened guidelines on wearing face masks, recommending that, where COVID-19 is spreading, they be worn by everyone in health-care facilities and for all interactions in poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

In June, the WHO urged governments to ask everyone to wear fabric masks in indoor and outdoor public areas where there was a risk of transmission of the virus.

Since then, a second global wave of the epidemic has gathered pace. In all, more than 63 million people globally have caught COVID-19 and 1.475 million have died of it, according to a Reuters tally.

In more detailed advice published on Wednesday, the WHO said that where the epidemic was spreading, people — including children and students aged 12 or over — should always wear masks in shops, workplaces and schools that lack adequate ventilation and when receiving visitors at home in poorly ventilated rooms.

WATCH | Testing face masks:

We test over 20 different masks and reveal which are the most effective at keeping you safe from COVID-19 and which masks you should avoid. PLUS, how to get a refund on your cancelled flights. 22:30

Masks should also be worn outdoors and in well ventilated indoor spaces where physical distancing of at least one metre can’t be maintained, WHO said.

Last month, Health Canada updated its guidelines saying to “protect yourself and others, wear a non-medical mask or face covering” when:

  • You’re in public and you might come into close contact with others.
  • You’re in shared indoor spaces with people from outside your immediate household
  • Advised by your local public health authority.

In all scenarios, masks needed to be accompanied by other precautions such as hand-washing, WHO said.

Depending on the type, WHO said masks can be used either for protection of healthy persons or to prevent transmission.

Medical masks to care for patients

In areas of COVID-19 spread, WHO also advised “universal” wearing of medical masks in health-care facilities, including when caring for other patients.

The advice applied to visitors, outpatients and to common areas such as cafeterias and staff rooms.

Health-care workers could wear N95 respirator masks if available when caring for COVID-19 patients, but their only proven protection is when they are doing aerosol-generating procedures which carry higher risks, the WHO said.

It recommended that people doing vigorous physical activity not wear masks, citing some associated risks, particularly for people with asthma.

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B.C. sets record for COVID-19 patients in hospital, ICU, and deaths in a day – Kamsack Times

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The number of British Columbians dying from COVID-19-related complications has started to ramp up, with 16 fatalities in the past 24 hours, and 58 deaths in the past four days.

The 16 deaths in a 24-hour period is a record, and it comes on the heels of 42 deaths in a three-day period, which was announced yesterday but not broken down by day. In total 457 people in B.C. have died from the virus.

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Provincial health officer Bonnie Henry said November 30 that the surge in deaths was not directly linked to the record number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) because most of the deaths reported yesterday were seniors in long-term care homes who died in those facilities. It was not clear if that pattern continued today.

Nonetheless, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital and in ICU hit a record yesterday as well as today. There are now 336 such patients in hospital – up 20 from yesterday. The number of COVID-19-infected patients in ICU rose by one, compared with yesterday, and is now at 76.

Some good news is that the number of people actively infected with the virus has fallen by 59, to 8,796.

There were 656 new COVID-19 infections identified in B.C. in the past day, including three epi-linked cases, which are presumed and not based on tests. That brings the total number of people infected by the virus in B.C., since the COVID-19 first arrived on January 28, to 33,894.

The breakdown of where the new infections are located is as follows:

• 140 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 408 in Fraser Health;
• 10 in Island Health;
• 83 in Interior Health; and
• 15 in Northern Health.

One seniors’ facility, the Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey, which recently had an outbreak that was deemed to be over, once again is listed as having an outbreak.

Outbreaks at Holy Family Hospital in Vancouver and Jackman Manor in the Township of Langley are newly declared to be over.

Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in their afternoon statement that there were no new community outbreaks.

That leaves a total of 61 outbreaks at healthcare facilities or seniors’ homes.
The five ongoing active outbreaks at acute-care facilities, or hospitals, are at:

• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey;
The 56 outbreaks at seniors’ homes are broken down by health region.

There are 15 active outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and they include:

• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion, in Vancouver;
• Revera Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Columbus Residence in Vancouver;
• German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver;
• Lakeview Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Ascot Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• St. Judes Anglican Home in Vancouver;
• Three Links Care Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Villa Cathay Care Home in Vancouver;
• Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver; and
• Youville Residence in Vancouver.

The 33 outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the ​Fraser Health region include:

• Agassiz Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Agecare Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Al Hogg Pavilion in White Rock;
• Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Amica White Rock in White Rock
• Belvedere Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Chartwell Langley Gardens in Langley;
• Cottage-Worthington Pavilion in Abbotsford;
• Fellburn Care Centre long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• Finnish Manor in Burnaby;
• Fleetwood Villa Retirement Residence in Surrey;
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Center 2 long-term care facility in Delta;
• Harrison Pointe retirement home in Langley;
• Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community long-term care in Port Coquitlam;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community assisted living in Port Coquitlam;
• Hollyrood Manor long-term care home in Maple Ridge;
• Jackman Manor in Langley Township;
• Laurel Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Society in Surrey;
• Northcrest Care Centre in Delta;
• PICS Assisted Living in Surrey;
• Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• Tabor Home in Abbotsford;
• The Residence at Clayton Heights in Surrey;
• The Residence in Mission;
• Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack; and
• White Rock Senior Village in White Rock.

There are two outbreaks at seniors’ homes in Northern Health: North Peace Seniors Housing Society buildings in Fort St. John, and Rotary Manor Dawson Creek in Dawson Creek.

Three outbreaks are at seniors’ living facilities in the Island Health region:

• Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni;
• Discovery Care Centre in Campbell River; and
• Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in Victoria.

The Interior Health region has three seniors’ facility outbreaks, at:

• Orchard Manor in Kelowna;
• Mountainview Village in Kelowna; and
• Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna.

Henry said that it can be hard to tell how the virus gets into seniors’ care facilities – whether the transmission starts with staff or with visitors.

“We’ve restricted visitors in long term care, as you know, because of the devastation,” Henry said yesterday. “We only have to look at this weekend to know what happens when the virus gets in.”

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom
 

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