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The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada

The latest developments on COVID-19 in CanadaThe latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern):3:15 p.m.Queen Elizabeth II addressed Britain, the Commonwealth and the world in a statement issued today, calling for unity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.Promising "we will meet again," the Queen thanked front-line workers fighting the global pandemic and encouraged people to stay home.Although the Queen addresses the Commonwealth every Christmas morning, it's only the fifth time in her 68-year reign that she has spoken specifically to rally Britons.The statement, which was under five minutes, was recorded Thursday at Windsor Castle, the Queen's main residence.\---2:10 p.m.Canada is increasing its international aid to help stop COVID-19 by more than $100 million. International Development Minister Karina Gould said Sunday another $109.5 million will be allocated, on top of $50 million the government announced earlier in March.She said $30 million will respond to requests for help from specific countries, $40 million will go to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations co-oridinating the world's efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19, and $84.5 million will be split between a number of international groups including the World Health Organization, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, and the World Food Programme.2:05 p.m.New Brunswick is reporting three new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total to 101 confirmed cases.Of the 101 cases, 58 are travel-related, and 32 are close contacts of confirmed cases.However, five cases are the result of community transmission and six cases remain under investigation.To date, 28 people have recovered from the viral illness.\---2 p.m.The premier of Newfoundland and Labrador says he's furious with U.S. President Donald Trump for suggesting the country could ban exports of medical supplies to Canada.Dwight Ball told a news conference today that the province gained international acclaim for the way its residents helped thousands of stranded airline passengers after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.Ball says that when the United States was in crisis, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians "acted fast and did what was necessary."The premier said even though he was "infuriated" with Trump's actions, he insisted that the people of the province wouldn't hesitate to repeat what they did during 9/11.\---1:55 p.m.Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez is asking Parliament to figure out how the House of Commons can move to virtual sittings for conducting regular business.The House was suspended until April 20 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and was recalled with a smaller number of MPs to pass an emergency aid bill to respond to COVID-19. It will be recalled again in the next week to pass additional measures.Most provinces are extending physical distancing measures well into May at this point, suggesting a return for the House in two weeks is unlikely.House Leader Pablo Rodriguez is asking Speaker Anthony Rota for advice on how the House might be able to use virtual sittings.\---1:20 p.m.Quebec Premier Francois Legault is extending the closure of non-essential businesses in the province to May 4.Legault says COVID-19 is still on an upward slope in Quebec and it would be unrealistic to keep to the original April 13 end date.The premier announced there were 19 new deaths in Quebec, for a total of 94, and 947 new cases for a total of 7,944.He says he hopes the number of new cases in the province will peak in the coming weeks.\---12:45 p.m.Canada's public health chief says hospitals should not throw away used masks and other protective equipment because experts are looking to see if they can be disinfected and reused.Dr. Theresa Tam says protecting health care workers is one of her top priorities in the COVID-19 pandemic.She says there is work underway looking for the best science that can be used to decontaminate used masks and other equipment.\---12:25 p.m.Nova Scotia is reporting 26 new cases of COVID-19. The province's total now stands at 262 confirmed cases.With the virus now spreading in communities, the province has ramped up testing at the province's main laboratory, where processing of results will be a 24-7 operation as of Monday.Health officials say six individuals are being treated in hospital, though 53 have already recovered from the viral infection.\---12 p.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced details for a cash payment for Canadians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accepted starting Monday, offering Canadians who have lost their jobs because of the crisis $2,000 a month.Trudeau says it will take three to five days for the money to arrive by direct deposit or 10 days by mail.\---11:45 a.m.Police in Sherbrooke, Que., say a Walmart security guard is fighting for his life after being struck and dragged by a driver who was allegedly enraged by the store's social distancing policies.They say the incident occurred at about 5 p.m. Saturday when the suspect tried to enter the Walmart with his partner but was told only one person per vehicle was allowed inside.Police spokesman Martin Carrier says the client allegedly became frustrated and struck the 35-year-old guard with his vehicle, dragging him several metres.\---11:35 a.m.Another resident of Pinecrest Nursing Home has died, bringing the number of COVID-19 related deaths in the central Ontario seniors' residence to 23.A wife of a resident at the nursing home in Bobcaygeon, Ont, has also died.It is one of the worst outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in the country.At least 24 staff members at the facility have also tested positive for COVID-19.\---11:05 a.m.Another 25 people in Ontario have died after testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the provincial death toll for the virus to 119.The fatalities come as the overall known caseload jumped past the 4,000 mark with more than 400 new ones reported. More than 150 people were on ventilators.More than three dozen outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes across the province. The frail elderly are at particular risk for coronavirus, which can produce no or mild symptoms, but can also cause lethal pneumonia.The Canadian Press

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing site sets up in Burnaby's Central Park

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing site sets up in Burnaby's Central ParkA drive-thru COVID-19 testing site has been established in Burnaby's Central Park for health care workers and other patients referred by their family doctor. The Burnaby Division of Family Practice, which is coordinating the participating physicians, says this site is part of a comprehensive COVID-19 strategy that Burnaby's primary care partners are rolling out.Among those partners is the City of Burnaby, which is providing the parking lot, Burnaby RCMP are securing the area, and Fraser Health has committed the nursing staff.Burnaby family doctor and board chair for the Burnaby Division of Family Practice Dr. Lindsay McCaffrey says with low supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) in doctors' offices this provides a safer environment to examine people exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. "Timewise we're not set up to be able to properly clean rooms after patients, so we really needed an essential site where patients could come where the doctors were set up with full PPE," said McCaffrey.The testing processTo be assessed at the site you must be referred. Health care workers that have COVID-19 symptoms will receive a referral, and so may those with moderate symptoms whose family doctor requests further assessment. A referral may also result from completing the questionnaire at set up is also meant to provide primary care to patients already self-isolating due to possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. Therefore patients who may be experiencing other health issues like abdominal pain or an ankle sprain can receive face time with a doctor, safely.Upon arrival patients are met with RCMP officers maintaining the safety of the site, they are assessed by a coordinator, then met by a medical assistant who collects their information and registers them. A nurse will gather their history, take some vital signs, and conduct a swab test for COVID-19 if the patient meets the CDC testing guidelines. If a physical assessment with a physician is required, the patient will move on to one of three portable exam rooms. Testing expected to increaseSince the testing centre opened on Mar. 28, McCaffrey says it hasn't been at capacity, with only several dozen patients being examined per day between their operating hours of 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., but she says those hours will expand as the number of patients increases."We are expecting it to ramp up unfortunately, and we've got room to expand, adding more physicians onsite if the need arises," said McCaffrey.She says they're also in talks with family doctors about using local clinics as COVID-19 assessment centres. And while initiatives like this drive-thru testing site are focussed on COVID-19, McCaffrey wants to remind people that doctors are still available for their patients. "We're open for business. We're providing virtual care through phone or video appointments, and we're there to serve the primary care needs of all of our patients, so don't put your health on hold."

Sunday 5th of April 2020 08:09:42

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