Tag Archives: the canada coronavirus

The British variant was detected in three Surrey schools with exposure to COVID-19 | Instant News

VANCOUVER – Three recent COVID-19 exposures at Surrey schools have been confirmed to involve a variant of the concern that has been monitored by health officials around the world.

Recent exposures at École Woodward Hill Elementary School, Tamanawis Middle School, and AHP Matthew Elementary School involved variant B.1.1.7 of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the Surrey school district confirmed in a letter to the respective schools’ communities on Saturday .

Surrey Supt School. Jordan Tinney tweeted a picture of the letter Saturday afternoon, along with his thanks to Fraser Health and to the staff, students and communities at each school.

Variant B.1.1.7 first appeared in Great Britain and is more infectious than other strains of the virus.

The exposure at the schools took place from late January to mid-February, and the letters stated that the school district only learned on Saturday that the strain of the virus in those schools was a British variant.

“Variant testing took longer than standard COVID-19 testing, which is why we are receiving this information now,” each letter said.

The exposures on Matthew’s AHP occurred on Jan.26, 27 and 29, according to the letter to the school community.

The exposure at Tamanawis Secondary occurred from 26 January to 8 February, and the exposure at Woodward Hill occurred from 3 to 5 February and from 8 to 12 February.

Fraser Health has contacted more than two dozen people at three schools and instructed them to self-isolate and undergo a COVID-19 test, according to the letter.

Most of the people were associated with École Woodward Hill Elementary, where “two classes and more than 20 people” have been instructed to stay home and take the test.

Health workers have contacted three people at AHP Matthew and three at Tamanawis with the same instructions.

On Friday, BC has confirmed 72 cases of COVID-19 “variant of concern”. Most (52) were British variants, while the other 20 were B.1.351, the variant first recorded in South Africa.

BC also detected one case of variant B.1.525, which was associated with Nigeria. The province’s single case is someone who recently returned from the country to the BC Interior.

In January, the province tested more than 80 people related to Garibaldi Middle School in Maple Ridge after someone who was a close contact of a person with a known British variant spent time at the school. All tests came back negative.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has warned that a more contagious variant is currently spreading across all provinces. can cause a sevenfold increase in the number of new cases detected across the country every day.


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Turning plastic bottles into gorgeous scarves: Wildlife photographers focus on sustainable fashion | Instant News

OTTAWA – This is environmental elegance and, for that matter, the “junk-ion statement.”

This is a conversation starter for conservation; trash turned into pretty wrappers.

Women Wildlife Photographers, brought together by Ottawa-born photographer Clare Hodgetts, share their exquisite photos, printed on soft, flowing fabrics made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles.

Clare Hodgetts, is one of the founders InFocus Canada, and is the fashion force behind printing magnificent landscapes and exquisite wildlife images into “wearable art.”

“Its mission is to raise money for important charities through sustainable fashion and spread awareness of the extraordinary and beautiful work done by professional photographers,” said Hodgetts.

This stunning scarf is part of the InFocus Canada Athena Collection.

I learned about this project when I received an extraordinarily beautiful Christmas present: a Sable Island horse scarf from one of my best friends.

The friend happens to be award-winning photographer Michelle Valberg, Nikon Canada Ambassador, and Geographical Photographer’s Canadian Residence.

When she gave me the scarf (a delivery on our TV station, because we couldn’t have our annual Christmas visit), I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it was, and how soft it was.

Valberg knows about my love for horses, and that I am a Nova Scotian with an emotional connection to Sable Island and its legendary herd.

When Michelle said, “Lee, that scarf is made from recycled plastic bottles,” my admiration took to the next level.

“Are you kidding? It’s so lovable and gentle. What a wonderful story.”

The Sable Island horse scarf is one of three donated by Valberg of Ottawa for the InFocus Canada project.

“Talk about a dream project,” said Valberg.

“Wearable art made from recycled plastic, showcases beautiful photos by female wildlife photographers, raises awareness and contributes financially to conservation programs.”

One of Valberg’s iconic images, ‘The Boss’, a rare spirit bear – a subspecies of black bear – in British Columbia’s Big Bear Rainforest, is featured on one of the packs.

Athena Collection

Each photographer selects his preferred conservation efforts and a portion of the sales will be donated.

Valberg supports Raincoast Conservation (protecting the home of Spirit Bear, its detectives, and countless other species) and The Nature Foundation, part of Canada’s Museum of Nature.

“Clare does an amazing job curating the photos woven so perfectly into these lush, soft fabrics (unexpected considering they’re made from recycled bottled material),” says Valberg.

Valberg said she is very pleased, and honored, to be part of the Athena Collection by InFocus Canada along with a prominent Nikon Ambassador group which includes Ami Vitale, Deanne Fitzmaurice, Viktoria Haack, Kritis Odom, Clare Hodgetts and Melissa Groo.

“Scarves act as platforms to share and spark conversations about major issues,” says Hodgetts, “combining glamor and fashion with contemporary issues. Scarves are becoming more than just beautiful fashion pieces for the individuals who wear them, they also have an interesting story behind them. . “

“The scarf, made entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, sparked a conversation about a major issue, combining glamor and fashion with contemporary issues, beautiful fashion pieces with a story, raising money for charity,” said grateful Hodgetts.

Hodgetts says all photographers have a strong story to share. She says scarf is the way to do that.

“Ami Vitale is a National Geographic photographer and US Ambassador of Nikon. A focused aspect of her work is raising awareness about the last two Northern White Rhinos to live in the world and attempts were made to save the species from extinction. Strong thing. “

“We have a beautiful Ami scarf in the Athens Collection, and a donation of the scarf goes to BioRescue, a charity working to save this Rhino.”

“Melissa Groo is another great photographer who is part of our Athena Collection.”

Athena Collection

Hodgetts explains, “He (Groo) is a Fellow of the International League Conservation Photographers Association and uses his photos as a powerful tool for storytelling and conservation.”

Groo described his work as follows: “To raise awareness, and change minds, not only about the extrinsic beauty of animals but also their intrinsic value.”

Donations from Groo’s ‘Sunbird’ scarf went to Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center – a wildlife hospital that cares for native and wild animals.

“There’s a story behind each scarf that makes it even more special,” says Valberg.

Hodgetts thanks you for a layer of beauty from this initiative.

“This project means a lot to me for a number of reasons. I’m glad we were able to produce beautiful pieces that make people feel comfortable wearing them. When ‘you look good, you feel good, and it’s important for me to contribute to empowering and uplifting people – people wearing them, “said Hodgetts.

So when you wear a scarf for your next Zoom meeting or family FaceTime, you can tell the story of photographers, charities and the sustainability aspects of your accessories.

Athena Collection

“Sustainable production is another important part of our story. We have a dedicated production partner, an Ethical Profile. Their CEO and President, Kemp Edwards, founded InFocus Canada with me.”

“Partnering with an Ethical Profile ensures our products are made in a third party facility that is audited for their commitment to environmental practices and corporate social responsibility.”

The scarf costs $ 77. A portion of each scarf will go to a charity or conservation organization of choice of each photographer. They can be purchased online at https://www.infocuscanada.ca/, in Ottawa at Shepherd Mode, as well as little choice inside All Environmentally Friendly.

Valberg is a wildlife photographer typically located anywhere in the world focusing on wildlife. He’s now out with his Nikon pointing at nature close to home during COVID-19.

“I encourage everyone to explore nature, while staying close to home, going out, embracing and loving our winter. Safe and healthy everyone. See you on the other side of the pandemic,” he said.


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Police search for the suspect after a fire accidentally broke out along a road in Little Italy | Instant News

TORONTO – Police have released surveillance camera images of a man wanted after several small fires broke out along a street in Toronto’s Little Italy neighborhood overnight.

Around 12:10 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Sunday morning, police were called to several fire spots that were visible along College Street, between Shaw and Grace streets.

Witnesses said a man started several fires in the area before fleeing the scene.

He was last seen wearing a red coat, black and white toque, and dark jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call the 14 Divisions at 416-808-1400.


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The British coronavirus variant was identified at Barrie’s long-term care home | Instant News

A British variant of COVID-19 has been identified at Barrie’s long-term care home which is facing a massive virus outbreak.

Simcoe Muskoka’s District Health Unit (SMDHU) confirmed that six cases of COVID-19 from the Roberta Place Long-Term Care Home had been identified as a variant of the highly contagious coronavirus.

This case happened to five residents and one employee.

As of Saturday, 127 residents had tested positive for the virus, along with 84 staff members, representing half of the workers helping to respond to the outbreak, said Health’s SMDHU Medical Officer Dr. Charles Gardner in a virtual press conference Saturday afternoon.

Only two residents in the house have not tested positive for the virus.

Together with the infected residents and staff, two important visitors, three external partners and 21 household members connected to employees and external partners at the home tested positive for the virus.

A total of 32 residents have died from the disease caused by the new coronavirus since the outbreak began at home on January 8.

Although only six samples tested positive for the British variant, Gardner said he believes all infected residents and staff have the variant.

“We have had the test results on six individuals, but I have no doubt that they all have variants. There is no reason to believe that the second variety was introduced to the site at the same time by accident. I have no reason to believe that it is anything but this British variant throughout the facility and affects all positive cases, “he said.

On Wednesday, the SMDHU confirmed that initial laboratory testing of the six cases at the home had identified a it is likely that there is a “worrying variant of COVID-19. “

The second test, the genome sequencing test, determined that the six samples were UK B.1.1.7 variants.

The British variant, along with the 501Y.V2 variant from South Africa, is believed to be about 50 percent more transmissible than other variants of the virus.

Another variant that is of concern that appears is the E484K variant found in Brazil.

Gardner said the home was doing all it could to contain the variant but said he was “very concerned” about spreading it to the wider community.

“My concern is very high. This virus, this variant proved to be highly contagious. The virus is growing rapidly in the home despite best efforts and has now infected many workers, other couples who have responded to the situation, and even some members of the household staff. and those who respond to the situation. “

Gardner added that because the variant has infected household members of those who work in the home, community transmission is possible.

“It’s definitely on the edge, I agree. It depends on their contact outside of their household and whether we start seeing spread there or not and we haven’t seen it but we are on the very edge.”

On Thursday, SMDHU delivered a domestic workers who have close contact with someone traveling abroad was one of the first people suspected of bringing the variant home.

The worker followed all precautions, and was tested regularly, but initially showed no symptoms.

Gardner said the worker did not violate the Quarantine Act or any recommendations set by the government.

“The disclosure in question did not occur in the community and staff members who were cases from the start did not experience symptoms when they came to work. They are asymptomatic when tested regularly, “he said.

With the infection spreading rapidly throughout the home since early January, Gardner was asked why the occupants weren’t rounded up early to reduce transmission.

He said the cohorting had not been successful due to reduced staffing levels.

“Homes have never succeeded in implementing the kind of grouping you describe where you maintain restrictions on staff movement or exposure of staff to cases and non-cases. That of course is something that is optimal practice in an outbreak and it’s definitely not established,” he said.

Earlier this week, the SMDHU ordered temporary leadership of Roberta Place to be assigned to Orillia Soldier Memorial Hospital to control the outbreak.

The organization will help ensure that staff, training, and equipment and supplies are available so that facilities can continue to respond to and control the outbreak.

Last weekend, the house inoculated 135 staff members and 21 residents with the first dose of Pfizer BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

However, on Thursday, the Associate Medical Officer of Health at SMDHU Dr. Colin Lee said the house should have gotten an earlier dose of the Moderna vaccine but that the dose was shifted to areas with a higher prevalence of long-term care outbreaks.

He said that houses “around GTA received the Moderna (vaccine) meant for us”.

This is due to the government’s goal of delivering the first dose to all long-term care homes in York, Peel, Toronto and Windsor Essex by January 21.

“If we get the vaccine a month before we enter [last] Saturday, I think this outbreak will be much lighter, “he said.

On Thursday, the provincial government said there were 15 known cases of the British variant across the province, not including the now confirmed cases at Roberta Place.


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Japan detected an entirely new coronavirus mutation in travelers from Brazil | Instant News

Kiyoshi Takenaka and Ricardo Brito, Reuters

Published Sunday, 10 January 2021 1:44 PM EST

TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travelers from Brazil’s Amazonas state, Japan’s Ministry of Health said on Sunday, the latest new mutation of the virus was found.

A ministry official said studies were underway to find out the vaccine’s efficacy against the new variant, which is different from the highly contagious variant first discovered in Britain and South Africa that has driven a spike in cases.

“At present, there is no evidence to suggest that the new variants found in those from Brazil have a high transmission rate,” Takaji Wakita, head of the National Infectious Diseases Institute, told a health ministry explanation.

Even so, Brazil’s Health Ministry said it had been notified by Japanese authorities that the new variant had 12 mutations, and one of them had been identified in a variant found in Britain and South Africa. “This implies a higher potential for virus transmission,” he said.

Of the four travelers who arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on January 2, a man in his forties had respiratory problems, a woman in her thirties had a headache and sore throat and a teenage man had a fever, while a woman in her teens showed no symptoms, said Ministry of Health.

All travelers are quarantined at Tokyo airport, said Brazil’s Health Ministry.

After seeing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and its three neighboring prefectures on the capital on Thursday.

Nationwide cases have numbered around 289,000, with 4,061 deaths, said public broadcaster NHK.


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