COVID-19 in Canada Oct. 5: B.C. models show hopeful signs, but Canada as a whole on the ‘wrong trajectory’ for COVID-19 spread

COVID-19 in Canada
"We are smoothing our curve"
B.C. Government / BCCDC
Dr. British Columbia Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry presented the latest model data for the province, highlighting that the rate of growth in COVID-19 cases is declining.
Dr. Henry said this is an indication that people have "safe connections" in their communities.
B.C. Government / BCCDC
Dr. Henry also stated that the number of contacts for each case of infection also "slowly declines" and has recently been moving around one or less than one. She said limiting contacts was a key component in preventing future spread.
B.C. Government / BCCDC
Despite some of the Dr. Henry identified successes, cases in B.C. have increased since mid-July.
Before Thanksgiving, she said that the celebrations should be "big in thanks, big in gratitude, but small in size".
"We're flattening our curve and it's the work of all of us and the actions we take ... that make that difference," said the BC Provincial Health Officer. "It is important for the health of our communities that we keep doing this."
B.C. Government / BCCDC
Younger age groups, 20-29 year olds and 30-39 year olds, are overrepresented compared to the percentage of the population that make them up.
B.C. Government / BCCDC
Dr. Henry noted that children still make up less than 10 percent of all cases in the province, indicating that schools are not "amplifying" transmission in the community.
B.C. Government / BCCDC
There were 50 school admissions in BC that both students and staff attended. The latest information from the province suggests that "many exposures were early, suggesting the infection occurred before school started (October 1)."
The serological study in Alberta shows no increase in the proportion of people with COVID-19 antibodies
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, announced Monday that more than 35,000 samples were analyzed in the province's serological study. This has shown that the percentage of people with antibodies did not increase from early June to early August.
Dr. Hinshaw pointed out that this is a sign that the province's existing tests are unlikely to be missing a significant segment of the population.
She added that many of the most recent cases are in the Edmonton area, with particular concern that people may go to work or socialize if they are symptomatic while waiting for their test result.
"This is a significant risk and one of the factors that is causing our case numbers to increase," said Dr. Hinshaw.
Quebec to make masks mandatory in secondary schools and to ban sports and recreational activities
Starting October 8, all secondary school students in the red zones of Quebec must wear a mask in these settings. This rule applies until October 28th.
10th and 11th grade students attend school on alternate days with a hybrid personal and online educational model.
Education Minister François Roberge said the province does not believe that schools need to be completely closed and the aim is to keep education as normal as possible.
Coronavirus: Tam Says Provinces Must "Test Smartly" As Second Wave Of COVID-19 Takes Canada
Canada's Chief Medical Officer of Health urged health care providers and people across the country to "test smartly" as the second wave of the novel coronavirus deepens. Tam said prioritizing people with symptoms of COVID-19 or at risk of exposure is the best approach as the provinces continue to grapple with rising case numbers.
The province is also suspending sports and recreational activities in Quebec's red zones, including gyms.
Activities can take place within a family unit and indoor sports facilities can remain operational for proactive purposes with reduced capacity and rules in place for physical distancing. Anyone who does sports with someone outside their family member must keep a distance of two meters.
"We must continue to do everything we can to limit our contacts," said Quebec Prime Minister François Legault on Monday.
The Quebec government has also urged people in the province to download the COVID Alert app. The Prime Minister stressed that there are no privacy concerns about its functionality, but added that the more the app is installed on their mobile device, the most effective.
Manitoba adds restrictions on restaurants and bars in Winnipeg
Coronavirus: New restrictions come into effect on bars in Manitoba
New rules for bars and restaurants have been released and will take effect on Wednesday, announced Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief public health officer, announced during a news conference Monday. May regulations included a restriction on when licensed establishments can offer alcohol, new guidelines for contract tracking, and more.
The Manitoba government has announced additional restrictions on restaurants and bars in the Winnipeg area starting October 7th and will apply as long as the area is in the orange risk classification.
The rules include:
Tables and seating are at least two meters apart between people seated at different tables or against a non-pervious barrier, and can be at least two meters away from other members of the public when they are not seated at a table.
Members of the public are assigned a table when entering the licensed building, which has seating for the entire group, and the seating capacity at a table cannot exceed 10 people.
Staff must receive contact information in writing from at least one person in each party attending the licensed premises, and the licensee must retain this information for 21 days after which it must be destroyed.
No spirits may be sold or serviced in licensed premises between 10 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.
The operator of the licensed premises must ensure that all members of the public leave the licensed premises by 11 p.m.
Licensed premises must be closed between 11:00 PM and 10:00 PM. and 6:00 a.m.
Groceries can be sold after 23:00. for delivery or take away and this does not apply to the spirits trade. Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba's chief medical officer for health, said the province is looking into possible additional restrictions on noise levels in these environments.
"The social circle is not relevant at this point in time"
The best doctors in Ontario now urge people in the province to "avoid close contact with people outside of your household".
"Your close contacts should be limited to the people you live with," said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, deputy chief health officer, at a press conference on Monday. "If you live alone ... you can consider having exclusive close contact with another household that you trust."
"The social circle is not relevant at this point."
Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief health officer, said provincial health officials were "concerned" about the number of contacts identified in positive cases, a total of 200 to 300 in seven or eight days.
"This is surprising and confusing," said Dr. Williams. "You shouldn't have that many to talk about."
Dr. Yaffe added that the number of contacts per case is "much higher than the first wave" because there are more interconnected breakouts in multiple settings.
"We're not doing as well as we should," said Dr. Williams. "We really have to tighten social contacts."
"We have to be extra careful at events and gatherings."
"I want to exhaust every single road before I ruin someone's life."
Speaking at a press conference Monday, Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford said the province needs more diagnostic lab technicians to detect and manage COVID-19 cases, reiterating that rapid tests will be "an absolute game changer".
When asked about adding restrictions on restaurants across Ontario, the prime minister said the province needs the data to secure these widespread measures.
"I have to sit back and examine the evidence," said Ford. "I want to exhaust every single road before I ruin someone's life."
"It's easy to go in there and say, I'll just turn everything off."
Dr. David Williams, chief medical officer for health in Ontario, said the province is continuing to look into what can be done in the province, in contrast to local government measures to prevent the virus from spreading, particularly in Toronto.
He added that the province is not imposing travel restrictions between provinces but urged the public not to move as far as possible in Ontario.
Ontario is investing $ 35 million to hire additional teachers and support school operations
Coronavirus: Ontario Prime Minister Ford commends the province's efforts to keep schools open when cases rise
Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford on Monday thanked provincial health and education officials who are working to keep schools in the province as safe as possible as COVID-19 cases spike in the second wave. Ford added the $ 1.3 billion plan its government put in place to reopen schools "worked".
The Ontario government announced it would invest $ 35 million in support for school authorities in Peel, Ottawa, Toronto and York, the COVID-19 hotspots in the province.
"As we are at the beginning of a second wave of COVID-19, we know there are schools in hotspot areas that need additional support to keep students and staff safe," Ford said in a statement. "We are therefore immediately approving the release of these funds to increase existing investments to improve physical distancing and distance learning, and to hire more staff to keep our children and teachers safe and healthy."
These additional resources can be used to “create greater distance between students through the recruitment of additional teachers, early childhood educators and educational assistants”. It can also support remote learning.
Canada on the "wrong track" for the spread of COVID-19
Coronavirus: Trudeau says there is still time to turn the second wave around by Christmas
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke on Monday of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country as the second wave of the novel coronavirus came up and said while Canadians are asked not to meet in person for Thanksgiving, "there is still time to turn around." this for Christmas. “He urged Canadians to continue wearing a mask and to keep social distancing in order to contain the spread of the virus.
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated that the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, "is not where either of us wanted to be".
"Even if we can't get together this long weekend, we still have the opportunity to turn things around this Christmas," said Trudeau. "Fighting this virus is a team effort by Canada and we are here for Canadians across the country."
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, confirmed that Ontario and Quebec account for 80 percent of COVID-19 cases, and the "accelerated spread" in these regions "reminds us how quickly this virus can spread."
“While we are currently on the wrong track in some parts of the country, if we all commit to doing our part in reducing the spread of the virus, we are confident that we can get the ship back on track and turn the corner again We can do this together, ”said Dr. Tam.
On Thanksgiving, Canada's chief public health officer advised the people of Ontario and Quebec that it "made most sense" to "stick with your family now and form an immediate social circle."
"This is not the time to be complacent about anything," she said.
"It is fundamental to Canada that everyone has access to health care."
At a press conference on Monday, the Prime Minister announced that he would speak to Health Minister Patty Hajdu about private clinics offering COVID-19 tests.
"It is fundamental to Canada that everyone has access to medical care," Trudeau said. "I saw these reports of private clinics and tests and I will speak to the Minister of Health later today to make sure this is followed up."
He also commented that Toronto has scaled back its contact tracing. The Prime Minister stressed that the contact tracing was "extremely effective" but recognized that it had to be carried out in a timely manner.
"Once you start getting arrears, it seems like it gets harder to make contact tracing so effective," Trudeau said.
Dr. Tam recognized that some local health units in Canada are "feeling really tired" and stressed that "public health capacities are not unlimited".
"Speed ​​is of the essence," she said. "The faster you reduce that acceleration, the sooner you'll actually get out."
"Decisions have to be made pretty quickly."
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