COVID-19 UpdateBREAKING NEWS:

CURRENT SITUATION UPDATE – MAY 25, 2020

I have combined information from press conferences, news releases and other sources from yesterday and today. Anything in green is an update on something from the last one I sent out or on an outbreak. Anything in bold and italics are my comments.

If you would like to see anything that I sent out previously, or have a question on a particular topic, please ask me and I will be pleased to send to you whatever I have.

If anyone has anything helpful to add, please send it to me and I will include it. Linda. 

Email Linda here.

Potential Treatments

  • Around the World
  • Canada
  • Other Provinces
  • Alberta
  • Good News Stories

POTENTIAL TREATMENTS/TESTS

 Canadian Vaccine Candidate Shows Promising Results

          Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) say that a vaccine candidate they have been testing has shown promising results in animal studies.

          Dr. Darryl Falzarano, who is leading the work said the team administered their vaccine to ferrets. Ferrets are often used for respiratory virus research and are susceptible to COVID-19. The ferrets received the vaccine in 2 separate immunizations given 28 days apart. After another 28 days, half the animals were then exposed to the virus. The animals generated a strong immune response and produced antibodies that neutralised the virus.

Human testing can begin once sufficient vaccine is produced and checked in follow-up animal tests. Dr. Falzarano anticipates that a clinical trial could take place in early fall.

 

–WORLD NEWS–

 Hong Kong

            Pro-democracy demonstrators have been protesting China’s attempt to change Hong Kong law to bring Hong Kong directly under mainland China’s control. Hong Kong police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the thousands of people who rallied.

            China’s new security laws have also worried financial markets and drawn rebukes from foreign governments, human rights groups and business leaders.

            Nearly  200 political figures from around the world said in a statement that the proposed laws were a “comprehensive assault on the city’s autonomy, rule of law and fundamental freedoms.” China has dismissed foreign complaints as “meddling” and said the proposed laws will not harm Hong Kong’s autonomy or investors.

 

World wide  5,590,358 cases; 347,907 deaths;  2,366,574 recoveries

Just to keep this in perspective:

  • flu affects 1 billion people and causes 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide (source: Johns Hopkins Medicine)
  • The Spanish flu affected 1/3 of the people in the world at the time and killed between 50-100 million people.

 

Around the World

COVID-19 affects 213 countries and territories around the world.

Brazil

  • Brazil has 376,669 cases and 23,522 deaths, 153,833 have recovered..
  • Brazil is the 2nd highest in the world, behind only the US. It is 6th in death toll, but these are likely very underreported.
  • The US has closed entry to anyone travelling from Brazil, except US citizens, close relatives, and green card holders.

 

Britain

  • Britain now has 261,184 cases and 36,914 deaths. There is no information on recoveries.
  • UK remains the 5th highest in cases and is still the 2nd highest in total deaths.
  • UK and Italy are tied for 3rd highest deaths per million people – 544 per million, behind Belgium and Spain.

 

France

  • France has 182,942 cases and 28,432 deaths, 65,199 people have recovered.
  • France is 7th in overall cases, and 5th in total deaths as well as 5th in deaths per million – 436 per million

 

Germany

  • Germany has 180,789 cases with 8,428 deaths, 161,200 people have recovered.
  • Germany is 8th in overall cases, but its death toll is much lower than other countries with high case numbers.

 

India

  • India posted its biggest single-day jump, overtaking Iran to become the 10th worst hit country.
  • India now has 145,456 and 4,172 deaths, with 60,706 recoveries.
  • India had just allowed domestic air travel to start.

     

Italy

  • Italy is now reporting 230,158 cases and 32,877 deaths, 141,981 people have recovered.
  • Italy is 6th in overall case numbers.
  • Italy and UK are tied for 3rd highest deaths per million people – 544 per million, behind Belgium and Spain.

 

Japan

  • Japan has lifted a state of emergency for Tokyo and four remaining areas after the number of infections fell across the country.

 

Russia

  • Russia’s cases continue to climb but it has slipped to third in cases behind only the US and Brazil. Russia has 353,427 cases, 3,633 deaths and 118,798 are reported as recovered.

 

Spain

  • Spain is reporting 282,480 cases and 26,837 deaths, 196,958 people have recovered.
  • Spain is still in 4th highest in cases behind the US, Brazil and Russia, and increased to 4th spot in deaths behind US, UK, and Italy.
  • However, Spain is the 2nd  highest in deaths per million population – 574 per million people, behind only Belgium.

     

United States

  • The US now has 1,706,226 cases and 99,805 deaths, 464 ,670 have recovered.
  • US deaths are 302 per million people, 9th behind Belgium, Spain, Italy, UK, France, Sweden the Netherlands, and Ireland.

 

Canada 

  • Confirmed cases         85,700
  • Probable cases                    11
  • Deaths                          6,545
  • Recoveries                  43,649
  • No. of Tests:          1,482,468

 

Areas in Canada with cases of COVID-19 as of MAY 25, 5:00 pm MDT

 

Province, territory or other                    Confirmed        Probable       Deaths   Recovered 

    • British Columbia                          2,530                   0             161           2,057
    • Alberta                                           6,879                   0             138           5,869
    • Saskatchewan                                  634                   0                 7              535
    • Manitoba                                          281                 11                 7              268
    • Ontario                                         25,904                   0          2,102         19,477
    • Quebec                                          47,984                   0          4,069         14,044
    • New Brunswi                                    121                   0                 0              120
    • Nova Scotia                                    1,051                   0               58              969
    • Prince Edward Island                      27                   0                 0                27
    • Newfoundland and Labrador       260                   0                 3              254
    • Yukon                                                    11                   0                 0                11
    • Northwest Territories                         5                   0                 0                  5
    • Nunavut                                                 0                   0                 0                  0
    • Repatriated travellers                         13                   0                 0     Unknown

Up-to-date information is available at Canada.ca/COVID-19

 

–Canadian News –

 Parliament

            The federal parties are still discussing how Parliament will proceed. It is supposed to return to normal meeting and procedures where all aspects of Parliament and governing Canada are discussed, rather than just a committee that can only discuss COVID, while the Prime Minister holds daily press conferences.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made it clear that he prefers that Parliament continue basically as it is, with one additional day for the committee. The Conservatives have said that if grocery stores can be open, so should Parliament, and have made a motion that Parliament be declared an essential service. The idea is that no more than 50 MPs would be physically present in the house while the others would be meet virtually.

As a minority government, the Liberals do not have the power to make that decision without an agreement from at least one opposition party.

The NDP have said they will agree with the Liberals if the Prime Minister agrees to help out disabled individuals and guarantee 10 days paid sick leave to workers.

            Trudeau has said he will push the provincial governments to give workers 10 days sick leave but NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has said that is not sufficient to get the NDP’s agreement to keep Parliament from regular meetings.

 

First Nations Blockading Roads to Self-Isolate

            Some First Nations communities are afraid of people bringing COVID-19 into their communities and are bringing roadblocks, “dissuasion points” and security checkpoints to many. The actions are recommended by provincial and national First Nations organizations. The isolation of remote communities helps keep transmission low but also means that if it does occur, it is difficult to fight, so some First Nations are nervous.   

            “Our first priority is the health and safety of First Nations families and communities,” Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde said.  

            Some security borders have caused anger and court intervention while others proceed with little apparent agitation or attention. In northern Manitoba, members of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation, northeast of Winnipeg, have blocked a highway for more than a week to stop workers arriving at a hydro construction project in case they brought the virus in with them. After being served with a court injunction to clear the road by the RCMP, supporters tore it up.

            In BC, most of the coastal communities maintain road checks, including the Nuxalk Nation, 430 kilometres northwest of Vancouver. Non-essential travellers there are deemed “trespassers and the community remains on “full lockdown,” public notices say.

            In Quebec, Mohawks of Kanesatake set up “dissuasion points” at the entrance to Oka provincial park to dissuade visitors.

            The M’Chigeeng First Nation on Ontario’s Manitoulin Island has had a non-essential travel ban for a month including two public highways, creating a flashpoint with neighbouring residents. First Nation and local municipal leaders have been meeting to ease tension.

            On the other hand, Nipissing First Nation, along the northern shore of Lake Nipissing west of North Bay is starting its own reopening. Nipissing leaders decided it would be difficult to close because the Trans-Canada Highway passes through it and focused on hygiene over isolation. In Ontario, the majority of First Nations communities have some form of border control.       

 

Provinces

 Ontario

  • Premier Doug Ford urged anyone who was at the Trinity Bellwoods Park gathering on Saturday or any other large gathering to get tested for COVID-19.
  • Premier Doug Ford announced on the weekend that asymptomatic people can get tested.

 

Quebec

  • Retail stores in Montreal were able to open their doors today. Customers are asked to practise physical distancing and follow hygiene protocols.

 

Alberta

 MAY 24, 2020, 5:15 p.m. 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • With the PPE supply chain improving and with more companies now developing PPE, Alberta businesses have more options to source their own PPE. As a result, the Alberta government is focusing the supply of critical PPE to organizations that are at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. This includes hospital workers, first responders, and those working in publicly funded or contracted homeless shelters, seniors care facilities, and disability agencies.
  • As of July 1, businesses and non-AHS organizations will be required to access PPE directly through suppliers.
  • Groups that have already received or submitted a request for PPE from the Provincial Operations Centre or Alberta Health Services can continue accessing supplies, subject to availability and for a fee, from May 25 until June 30. Requests received and being fulfilled may be subject to fees.
  • The PPE supply chain is improving and more companies are developing PPE. Alberta Biz Connect web page can help organizations and businesses source their own PPE supply.

This is in line with Ontario, Quebec, and BC.

 

Commercial tenant-landlord survey open

  • A new survey will help assess the challenges that commercial tenants and landlords face.
  • The survey will identify if businesses need additional support to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • More information can be found online.

Funding announced for seniors housing

  • Government is providing $26 million for 82 new capital maintenance and renewal projects for seniors housing facilities. These projects will focus on residents’ health and safety, keep units open and help build a ring of defence around seniors.
  • More information can be found online.

    Access to justice

  • Starting in June, the Court of Queen’s Bench will hear some criminal trials in-person and via Webex video conference, beginning with cancelled trials originally scheduled between March 16 and June 26.
  • More information: https://albertacourts.ca/qb/resources/announcements 

    Case updates

    There have been 19 new cases of 3,010 test results. There have also been 3 more deaths, a man and a woman in their 80’s, and a woman in her 90’s, all in Calgary.

    There are 762 active cases, but only 45 hospitalizations, and 5 in ICU. There are 5,979 recoveries.

    Latest updates 

  • 19 new cases have been reported, bringing the number of active cases to 762. 5,979 people have recovered.
  • Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
    • 594 active cases and 4,069 recovered cases in the Calgary zone
    • 92 active cases and 1,133 recovered cases in the South zone
    • 52 active cases and 459 recovered cases in the Edmonton zone
    • 19 active cases and 201 recovered cases in the North zone
    • 3 active cases and 95 recovered cases in the Central zone
    • 2 active cases and 22 recovered cases in zones yet to be confirmed
    • Additional information, including the total number of cases, is reported online.
  • There have been 624 cases to date with an unknown exposure.
  • The total deaths are 138: 101 in the Calgary zone; 15 in the North zone; 13 in the Edmonton zone; 8 in the South zone; and one in the Central zone.
  • There are 63 active cases and 648 recovered cases at continuing care facilities. 103 residents at these facilities have died.
  • So far, 218,740 Albertans have been tested and labs have performed 239,799 tests, with 3,010  tests completed in the last 24 hours.
  • Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is eligible for testing. People can access testing by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health-care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders.
  • Aggregate data, showing cases by age range and zone, as well as by local geographic areas, is available online at alberta.ca/covid19statistics.

 

 (Central zone and areas around Calgary includes:

  • Ponoka County – 3 cases, 1 active, 0 deaths, 2 recovered
  • City of Camrose – 2 cases, 0 active, 1 death, 1 recovered
  • County of Camrose – 1 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths, 1 recovered
  • Red Deer37 cases; 1 active, 0 deaths, 36 recovered
  • City of Lacombe – 2 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths, 2 recovered
  • County of Lacombe – 3 cases; 0 active, 0 deaths; 3 recovered
  • Clearwater County – 3 cases, 1 active, 0 death; 2 recovered
  • County of Stettler – 3 cases, 0 active, 0 death; 3 recovered
  • Red Deer County – 16 cases, 1 active, 0 deaths, 15 recovered
  • Clearwater County – 2 cases; 1 active, 0 deaths; 2 recovered
  • Mountain View County – 9 cases, 2 active, 0 deaths, 7 recovered
  • Kneehill County – 4 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths; 4 recovered
  • MD of Bighorn – 18 cases; 0 active, 0 deaths; 18 recovered
  • MD of Rockyview – 44 cases; 6 active, 0 deaths; 38 recovered
  • Wheatland County – 10 cases; 2 active, 0 deaths; 8 recovered
  • ID No. 9 (Banff & Canmore) – 4 cases; 1 active, 0 deaths; 3 recovered
  • Foothills County – 726 cases, 23 active, 8 deaths; 695 recovered
  • City of Airdrie – 47 cases, 5 active, 1 deaths, 41 recovered
  • City of Calgary – 3863 cases;  548 active, 92 deaths; 3223 recovered
  • City of Brooks – 1095 cases, 52 active, 7 deaths, 1036 recovered
  • County of Newell – 15 cases, 2 active, 0 deaths; 13 recovered
  • Special Areas No. 2 – 2 cases; 0 active, 1 death; 1 recovered
  •  

I am including smaller towns within counties, where I can get the information.  The total of each smaller town is also included in the country total. If there is a town I have not included that you would like to see, please let me know and I will see if I can get that info. Sometimes more than 1 town is lumped in together or not separated from the county figures – for example, Penhold, Blackfalds and the area around Red Deer is included in Red Deer County figures.

  • Black Diamond – 29 cases, 3 active, 0 deaths, 26 recovered
  • Canmore – 18 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths, 18 recovered
  • Cochrane-Springbank – 20 cases, 2 active, 0 deaths, 18 recovered
  • Crossfield – 6 cases, 1 active, 0 deaths, 5 recovered
  • Chestermere – 32 cases, 3 active, 0 deaths, 29 recovered
  • Didsbury/Carstairs – 5 cases,1 active, 0 deaths, 4 recovered
  • Drumheller – 2 cases, 2 active
  • High River – 535 cases, 12 active, 7 deaths, 516 recovered
  • Innisfail/Bowden – 1 case, 0 active, 0 deaths, 1 recovered
  • Okotoks – Priddis – 165 cases, 9 active, 1 deaths, 155 recovered
  • Olds – 3 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths, 3 recovered
  • Rocky Mountain House – 1 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths, 1 recovered
  • Strathmore – 23 cases, 4 active, 0 deaths, 19 recovered
  • Sundre – 2 case, 1active, 0 deaths, 1 recovered
  • Sylvan Lake – 3 cases, 0 active; 0 deaths; 3 recovered
  • Three Hills / Highway 21 – 4 cases, 0 active, 0 deaths, 4 recovered
  •  
  • OUTBREAK SITES
  • Outbreak = 2 or more cases which indicates community spread in the facility. Congregate sites are required to report even 1 possible case. Outbreak is declared over when 4 weeks have passed with no new cases.
  • Long-term care and supported living facilities with COVID-19 cases:   I have included the information from the Alberta government website plus information from other sources.
  • If a site is no longer on the list it is because there have been no new cases for four  weeks.
  • There are 63 active cases and 648 recovered cases at continuing care facilities. 103 residents at these facilities have died.
    • Academy of Aging, Calgary
    • AgeCare Sunrise Gardens, Brooks
    • Bethany Care Centre, Calgary seniors home in the NW has confirmed 2 cases; one is a resident and 1 a staff member. The resident has since died.
    • Bow View Manor, Calgary – this site was declared outbreak free, then another case occurred in a staff member acquired outside of the facility. There are no cases in other staff members or residents.
    • Carewest Sarcee, Calgary has 12 cases and 2 deaths.
    • Clifton Manor, Calgary, now has 27 confirmed cases among residents and 18 in staff for a total of 45 cases, and 7 deaths; 13 residents and 12 staff have recovered.
    • Hillcrest Extendicare, Calgary, 2 deaths
    • High River Long term Care (in High River Hospital) – 2 deaths
    • Intercare  Chinook Care Centre, Calgary
    • JB Wood Continuing Care, High Prairie, 4 deaths
    • Kensington Village – Shepherd’s Care – 37 cases – 29 have recovered, 4 deaths
    • Manoir du Lac Retirement Home in McLennan. The last numbers were 38 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.
    • McKenzie Towne Long Term Care, Calgary, 114 confirmed cases, 20 deaths. A new positive case was identified.
    • Millrise Place, Calgary
    • Monterey Seniors Village, Calgary
    • Proverbium 3 Homes Inc., Calgary
    • Providence Care Centre, Calgary
    • Sunrise Gardens, Brooks
  • Other outbreak sites:
    • Amazon Distribution Centre, Balzac
    • APS Calgary
    • Calgary Alpha House
    • Calgary Drop-in Rehab Centre Society, Calgary – 10 cases, 2 recovered
    • Calgary Refrigerated Warehouse, Calgary
    • Canada Post, Calgary
    • Cargill Meat Processing Plant/High River
    • Cascade Recovery+, Calgary, 14 cases
    • Fibrebuilt Manufacturing, Calagry
    • Flyers force, Calgary
    • Golden Happiness Bakery
    • Harmony Beef – Meat packing, Rocky View County
    • Horizon Work Camp, Fort McMurray -5 cases
    • JBS Foods/Brooks
    • Kearl Lake work camp north of Fort McMurray – there have now been 107 cases over a 6 week period.  Strict measures are in place which has reduced further spread.
    • McDonalds, Brooks
    • Midtown Co-op, Calgary
    • Purolator, Calgary – 59 employees, 5 have recovered so far
    • Terashita’s No Frills, Brooks
    • Subaru, Calgary
    • Thomas Fresh, Calgary

 Aggressive measures are being implemented in all outbreaks and they are affective.  AHS and Public Health has learned from the earlier outbreaks and is putting aggressive measures in place immediately an outbreak is identified. Exposures that happened before measures put in place can continue to happen for up to 2 weeks because of the long incubation period.

ABTraceTogether app

  • The ABTraceTogether app will enhance current manual contact tracing and capacity, and facilitate early detection to help reduce the spread of the virus and better protect Albertans. It means Albertans will be contacted more quickly if they are at risk.
  • Use of the app is voluntary; users must opt in.
  • The app does not track the user’s physical location and does not use GPS. Protecting privacy is paramount; all contact data is only on the user’s phone and is deleted after 21 days.
  • Secure contact tracing is a cornerstone of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy. More information on the app, including links to download it, can be found online.
  • Since its launch, the app has attracted 191.579 registered users.

     

    –POSITIVE STORIES—

    Calgary Doctors Fundraising for Tablets in Hospital

    Two Foothills Hospital doctors are raising funds to buy tablets for patients to have face-to-interactions with their loved ones. Dr. Kimberley Nix and Dr. Khue-Tu Nguyen, along with Dr. Alexandra Frolkis and other emergency physicians and resident doctors, are hoping to raise $4,000 to purchase the tablets. They are selling $2 tickets through Eventbrite with the funds being processed through the Calgary Health Trust. The draw is May 31 with a pair of $500 cash prizes up for grabs.

    Money raised will also go toward installing a security system on the new tablets and iPads. Any leftover funds will be directed to Alberta Health Services’ Calgary Trust

    Fund, COVID-19 Improving Patient Care, and the Clean Hans Helping Hearts Initiative.

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