Coronavirus: Cases in Quebec climb to 2,021 while deaths rise to 18

The Quebec government is expected to provide an update on Saturday on its response to the novel coronavirus as cases continue to rise.

Deputy Minister and Minister of Public Safety Geneviève Guilbault will be leading the press conference expected to begin at 1 p.m.

As of Saturday morning, there are 2,021 cases in the province, including 18 recorded deaths and 29 recoveries.

The City of Montreal declared a state of emergency Friday afternoon as the number of cases of COVID-19 jumped to 971, representing 48 per cent of cases in the province.

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

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the decision was made at the request of Quebec’s public health director Dr. Horacio Arruda.

The mayor’s declaration gives police officers new powers, including closing down non-essential businesses that remain open, stopping social gatherings and imposing fines on people for not self-isolating when ordered to do so.

Plante announced Friday the city plans to open more temporary shelters in the coming days to cope with the reduced number of beds in shelters. There are fewer beds available as shelters seek to apply social distancing measures.

It will also create outdoor day centres in public spaces normally frequented by the homeless, where food will be provided. The city plans to open five sites able to accommodate 1,000 people a day.

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus is changing how we hold funerals: ‘another layer of grief’

Removing someone from a funeral simply because they travelled to the U.S. wasn’t an expected part of the job for Jeff Hagel, president of McInnis and Holloway funeral homes in Calgary, Alta.

That’s now become one of a multitude of changes to policy Hagel’s funeral homes have implemented across the city as a response to the coronavirus outbreak in Canada.

Along with drastically reducing the number of people allowed to attend ceremonies, firming handwashing and sanitizing policies, setting up video streaming and scaling back staff hours — people who work in these types of industries are learning how to adapt.

Source: Read Full Article

B.C. health-care professionals warn about use of unproven COVID-19 treatments and medications

A group of B.C. health-care professionals has issued a warning about the threats posed by unproven treatments and medications for COVID-19.

Contrary to information spreading on social media, a proven treatment for COVID-19 does not exist, says a joint statement from College of Pharmacists of BC, College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, and BC College of Nursing Professionals.

They also warn against the use of unproven therapies for COVID-19, such as hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir, and colchicine.

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

They go on to say a surge in interest in unproven COVID-19 treatments could lead to a shortage of drugs that could be used to help patients with other conditions.

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus: Toronto charity offers subsidized housing near hospitals for health care workers

TORONTO – A Toronto-area non-profit is providing subsidized accommodation for health-care workers who need to isolate from their families during the COVID-19 outbreak.

StayWell Charity says front-line health workers have expressed concern about passing on the virus to their own family members.

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

Steven Argyris, a director with the organization, says they have around 1,000 apartments and hotel rooms that could potentially house health-care workers in major cities across Canada.

He says the rooms will be as much as thousands of dollars cheaper than they would be at market prices.

Jory Simpson, chief of general surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, says he already has earmarked one room for his staff and is prepared to book more.

He says health-care workers are all balancing the need to provide care to patients while also keeping their families safe.

Source: Read Full Article

Coronavirus: Haldimand, Norfolk counties jointly declare state of emergency

Both Haldimand and Norfolk counties declared a state of emergency for their regions on Tuesday.

The move comes days after the medical officer of health for both areas issued orders to limit gatherings and warned of large fines for returning travellers who don’t self-isolate.

Mayor Ken Hewitt of Haldimand and Norfolk County mayor Kristal Chopp can now take direct action on activities that are violating public health officials’ orders using provincial resources and emergency funding.

“While I have been in close communication with Mayor Chopp, declaring an emergency will allow both Haldimand & Norfolk counties to make quicker decisions, support our health team in a more expeditious manner and implement additional measures to protect the health & well-being of our communities,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Mayor Hewitt and I are in constant communication with each other and our shared Medical Officer of Health to ensure decision-making is timely and serves the best interests of Haldimand and Norfolk,” said Chopp.

On the weekend, Haldimand-Norfolk’s medical officer of health, Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, set a limit on how many residents can congregate in public spaces.

[ Signup for our Health IQ newsletter for latest coronavirus updates ]

Nesathurai said gatherings cannot exceed 10 people, including visits to playgrounds, parks, piers and beaches.

He also warned of a $5,000-per-day fine for those caught at work or in the community without self-isolating for 14 days after returning from travel.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in Haldimand or Norfolk counties.

However, both counties activated their emergency operations centres on Friday and set up care centres as a precaution at the Dunnville Memorial Arena and Port Dover Arena.

Source: Read Full Article