‘We’ve had people at our door in tears’: COVID-19 adds barriers to sexual health resources – National

24Jan

‘We’ve had people at our door in tears’: COVID-19 adds barriers to sexual health resources – National

by BBG Hub

For two weeks, Ryan Hook and his partner have been trying to book an appointment with a sexual health clinic in Victoria, B.C.

The clinic operates on a day-by-day basis and doesn’t take waitlists. By 7:30 a.m., Hook says all the slots are already booked.

He tried sending the clinic an email, only to receive an automated response informing him the clinic’s inbox was full.

READ MORE: Experts say women shouldn’t put off sexual health care during coronavirus pandemic

“Our only other option at this point was going to the emergency (room),” he said. “So we’d be waiting for a long time and there’s other things to factor in like COVID-19.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased barriers to sexual health resources, experts say, with many clinics either reducing their hours and services or closing their doors altogether.

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But another large factor in accessibility to sexual health care is a change in available resources.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Advocates warn limited health services may lead to unplanned pregnancies

Nicole Pasquino, the clinical practice director at Options for Sexual Health in Vancouver, says many nurses who work in sexual health clinics are also working in hospitals and administering vaccines for COVID-19.

In addition to this, she adds labs used to process sexually transmitted infections (STI) tests are working overtime to also manage COVID-19 tests. As a result, tests are coming in much later and people can’t access services in a time-sensitive way.

“They’re so exhausted … and what we’re seeing is our health-care system stretched to the max,” she said.

“When you talk about these hundreds of thousands of vaccinations that are happening — well, what is being missed? In order for these vaccinations to be had, something has to be put on the back burner.”


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Coronavirus: Trudeau says COVID-19 vaccines are what he thinks about ‘when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed, and every hour in between’


Coronavirus: Trudeau says COVID-19 vaccines are what he thinks about ‘when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed, and every hour in between’

Closures create trickle-down-effect on health care

Taryn Wahl, an education coordinator at Planned Parenthood based in Regina, Sask., says the closures of family physicians’ offices have been pushing new patients to their clinic.

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The limited capacity and in-person services have created weeks of backlogged appointments, leaving those trying to access birth control vulnerable.

READ MORE: COVID-19: World’s biggest condom producer warns of global shortage

She says intrauterine devices (IUDs) are the most effective method of emergency contraception, but when people pick up the IUD from a pharmacist, they are struggling to get an appointment within the seven-day window it needs to be used.

Wahl adds that the inability to access birth control can lead to more unplanned pregnancies — causing a trickle-down effect.

Access to abortion has been maintained across Canada, since it was deemed an essential service early on in the pandemic.

READ MORE: The Pill was legalized 50 years ago, but experts say we can still improve contraceptive access

However, there is currently no data on the number of abortions conducted in the past year since there is often a two year delay on information. 

“All I know is that it seems like the rates and the people who are requesting pregnancy termination and the systems within that are much higher than it used to be,” said Wahl.


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Coronavirus: The impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable in our society


Coronavirus: The impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable in our society – May 24, 2020

Britt Neron, the health promotion officer at Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, says people in the sexual health sector are bracing for the impacts of the current lack of resources.

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“And all these barriers are significantly more pronounced for people in violent home situations, those without provincial or territorial health coverage and those without access to public transit or vehicles,” Neron said.

Barriers for marginalized communities

In Vancouver, Pasquino says populations who were already vulnerable are suffering the most during the COVID-19 pandemic because they have the least access to care.

Financial stress caused by the pandemic can also force people to neglect their sexual health needs, she adds.

“We’ve had people at our door in tears. Like ‘Should I buy my birth control this month, or should I buy my food next week?” she said.

Though it varies from province to province, many sexual health clinics aren’t currently offering routine screening or most STI testing, reducing their services to high-risk clients and relying on Telehealth services.

“But maybe you don’t have a phone, right? Maybe you’re used to accessing through your school-based clinic which no longer operates? Maybe you don’t have a secure place where you can call someone?” Pasquino said.

READ: Can I have sex in self-isolation? Navigating pleasure during the coronavirus outbreak

She adds while abortion services are still active and available, accessibility decreases when you take into account things like lockdowns or people with precarious immigration status.

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Additionally, people experiencing trauma or violence within their relationships can face more barriers to accessing care.


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How COVID-19 might impact those living with domestic violence


How COVID-19 might impact those living with domestic violence – May 15, 2020

A United Nations Population Fund projection released in May last year that said 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence worldwide “can be expected if the lockdown continues for at least six months.”

Global News previously reported that support centres and shelters have been grappling with the problem of safety for people experiencing domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: When home isn’t safe: How coronavirus puts neighbours on front lines of abuse

People are being told to stay at home, but their homes may not be safe.

Pasquino recently had one patient who received a birth control shot and expressed how thankful she was that the centre was open.

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“And the reason that this individual accesses birth control this way is because their partner won’t allow them to be on birth control … So for that person, it’s a huge safety issue,” she said.

Pasquino adds that though the system is stretched, people still need to think actively about their sexual health since things like STIs and unplanned pregnancies don’t go away during a pandemic.

“Sexual health impacts all people at all stages in their life. And so we need to try to ensure that that doesn’t get interrupted to keep some kind of normalcy in people’s health.”

— With files from Jane Gerster 




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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22Jan

Province invests $2 million in Beamsville hand hygiene production facility – Hamilton

by BBG Hub

The Ontario government is investing $2 million in the local production of soap and sanitizer dispensers.

The province says the funding will help OPHARDT Hygiene Technologies expand its facility in Beamsville as it increases production to 300,000 dispensers and one million dispenser drive modules per year.

Read more:
Dillon’s distillery of Beamsville making hand sanitizer and disinfectant amid coronavirus pandemic

OPHARDT is investing $7 million in the expansion, which includes purchasing molding, automation and bottle-making equipment, and is expected to create 75 new jobs and retain 96 others.

Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, says it’s another example of “made-in-Ontario solutions” in the fight against COVID-19.

The dispensers are destined for high-traffic areas, including airports, shopping malls and medical facilities.

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Read more:
How to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections at Ontario’s long-term care homes

Ken Friesen, general manager of OPHARDT Hygiene Canada, says the company is “pleased to be playing an important role in keeping Ontarians healthy” during the pandemic.

The government funding is through the Ontario Together Fund, which is geared towards targeted investments that increase the province’s stockpile of made-in-Ontario products and personal protective equipment.




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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19Jan

Automated waste collection bins distributed in Laval – Montreal

by BBG Hub

Laval is distributing more than 130,000 black bins on wheels to complete its automated waste collection system.

The automated bins are in addition to the blue and brown bins, which are used for the collection of recyclable materials and compostable waste.

As of April, the black bins should only be used to throw away non-recyclable waste materials.

Read more:
Montreal says city-wide composting key pillar in plan to become zero waste by 2030

The new automated bins can be emptied using a mechanical arm. Garbage collectors will no longer be directly exposed to the contents of the trash cans and will no longer have to lift heavy loads repeatedly, resulting in faster safer waste collection, according to the city.

The new bins will also ensure cleaner streets since the waste is protected from bad weather, insects, and scavenging animals.

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Read more:
Montreal holds public hearings to discuss reducing waste

Black bins will initially be distributed to buildings with seven units or less. Single-family homes will receive one bin, duplexes and triplexes will receive two, and four to seven units will receive between two to three new bins. Buildings with eight units and more will receive bins over the next few years.

As of April 1, the automated black bin will be the only container that can be used for waste collection in Laval and compulsory for the city’s approximately 445,000 residents.




© 2021 The Canadian Press





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16Jan

Canada’s top jobs with the fastest-growing demand in 2021: Randstad – National

by BBG Hub

After months of gradual gains, Canada’s labour market is in a funk again.

Statistics show the economy shed 63,000 positions in December, and many analysts expect the trend to continue as governments tighten COVID-19 restrictions amid rising case counts.

But while the new round of lockdowns is once again disproportionately hitting the same service-sector industries that saw the steepest job losses in March and April, a new report by Randstad, one of the world’s largest HR firms, shows the pandemic is also creating new roles in other corners of the economy.

Read more:
Canada sheds 63K jobs in December, first decline since April

The positions that are seeing the fastest-growing demand from employers reflect how companies are adapting to the new reality, says Carolyn Levy of Randstad Canada. And many of those trends are likely to survive the pandemic, she adds.

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Job interview Do’s and Don’ts


Job interview Do’s and Don’ts – Dec 13, 2020

Here are the big shifts afoot in the Canadian labour market and the top jobs associated with them, according to Randstad’s 2021 jobs forecast:

Shift to online sales — customer service representatives, delivery drivers, IT and support desk specialists, procurement and supply chain specialists, warehouse workers

With companies now forced to attend to customers and clients remotely, many are finding they need to hire more customer service representatives, Levy says. Seniors, in particular, have been more likely to struggle with the shift to online purchases, highlighting the need for support from customer service pros, she adds.

Delivery drivers, unsurprisingly, also feature prominently in Randstad’s list. But while delivery jobs have been in high demand for the past few years in Canada, it’s the need for short-distance deliveries within cities that has driven growth in the pandemic, Levy says.

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IT workers have been helping companies create or upgrade their online store, while supply chain specialists have been helping them rejig for an online-only business model, according to Levy. And with more goods now shipped directly from warehouses to customers’ homes, the need for warehouse workers has also increased.


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Many women not seeking to re-enter the workforce, expert says


Many women not seeking to re-enter the workforce, expert says – Dec 30, 2020

Shift to work-from-home — administrative assistants, IT specialists, security analysts and architects

Many businesses were moving away from traditional administrative assistant roles before the pandemic, Levy says. Companies figured they could do without receptionists, for example, and automating processes like checking in customers.

But with the shift to remote work, many firms are finding they need someone in charge of managing logistics, keeping track of schedules, and, say, corralling large numbers of people into a Zoom meeting, Levy says.

Read more:
No job during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what you can do in 2021

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The work-from-home revolution has also put a strain on companies’ IT departments, prompting many to hire some extra help, according to Levy.

“Everybody (is) moving to the cloud … so you’re able to access your data from anywhere,” she says.

But as more sensitive company data migrates online, employers are also beefing up the ranks of cybersecurity specialists that can ensure the information is protected from hackers and other digital threats, Levy says.


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Advocates, workers call for better paid sick leave benefits


Advocates, workers call for better paid sick leave benefits

Extraordinary demand on essential retail services — essential retail workers, procurement and supply chain specialists, cleaners and maintenance workers, warehouse workers

For grocery stores and other essential retailers, the challenge has been to keep the shelves stocked in the face of unprecedented demand and unusual shopping patterns, like the toilet paper shortage and baking mania of the first months of the pandemic.

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And the need for essential retail workers and supply chain specialists persists in the second wave, Levy says.

Essential businesses are also having to hire extra cleaning staff to make sure they abide by health care directives and warehouse staff to keep goods moving.

Read more:
Air Canada to cut approximately 1,700 jobs

Extraordinary demand on the healthcare system — registered nurses

The demand for registered nurses comes from across the health care sector, whether it’s hospitals, long-term care homes or vaccine clinics, Levy says.

Across the whole system demand is “through the roof,” she says.


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‘Tired and broken’: ICU nurse reflects on pandemic toll


‘Tired and broken’: ICU nurse reflects on pandemic toll

Job seekers may find opportunity in unexpected places

A silver lining of the pandemic economy is that many of the workers displaced by the COVID-19 restrictions may well qualify for the jobs the health crisis is creating, Levy says.

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For example, travel booking agents, flight attendants and hotel workers likely have the right skills for customer representative or essential retail jobs, she says.

Job seekers should keep an open mind and look for opportunities that aren’t necessarily in their industry, she says.

“Don’t wait for things to return back to normal,” she says. “We’re going to have a new normal.”




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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15Jan

Toronto speed cameras caught thousands, but devices ticketed fewer drivers month-over-month – Toronto

by BBG Hub

The City of Toronto says it has noticed a steady decline in the number of speeding tickets its issued through its automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras in the first round of locations as well as a decline in repeat offenders.

“I’m glad to see this downward trend in the number of tickets issued and hope this will continue to be the case at all future locations,” said Mayor John Tory.

The city said it issued 53,090 fines since the start of the program in July, with fewer tickets being issued month-over-month during a five-month period.

Fifty ASE cameras were installed, two per ward, across Toronto in community safety zones (near schools) and began issuing speeding tickets last summer. Tickets through ASE cameras are fines only; no demerit points are issued. The fines are also billed and mailed to the registered vehicle owner, regardless of who was driving. The registered vehicle owner’s driving record will not be impacted through these tickets, the city said.

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Read more:
More than 9,700 speeding tickets mailed to Toronto drivers, cameras to be moved to new streets

Although the cameras have since been moved to new locations, during the entire enforcement period from July 6 to Nov. 30, a camera on Renforth Drive near Lafferty Street in Etobicoke-Centre issued the most fines at 5,404 or 10 per cent of tickets.

Also on Renforth Street, the highest fine of $718 was mailed to a vehicle owner who was caught speeding, going 89 km/h in a 40 km/h speed limit zone.

There were a total of 5,822 repeat offenders — including the most frequent repeat offender, who got 17 speeding tickets near Crow Trail and Bradstone Square in Scarborough-North since the program began.

Number of tickets and repeat offenders declined as the months went on.

First month, July 6 to Aug. 5:

  • 22,301 tickets mailed to speeding vehicles with 2,239 repeat offenders.

Second month, Aug. 6 to Sept 5:

  • 15,175 tickets mailed to speeding vehicles with 1,198 repeat offenders.

Third month, Sept. 6 to Oct. 6:

  • 9,719 tickets mailed to speeding vehicles with 604 repeat offenders.

Fourth month, Oct. 7 to Oct. 31 (the last day before devices began being moved to other parts of the neighbourhood):

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  • 5,174 tickets mailed to speeding vehicles with 604 repeat offenders.

Read more:
Toronto to begin issuing speeding tickets from automated speed cameras July 6

From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30, only 721 tickets were issued but that was during a time when the cameras were being rotated to new locations in stages, the city said. Data for December for the cameras in the new spots will be available in February, city officials said.

“Once again the data proves that the city’s automated speed enforcement program can positively impact driver behaviour, evident in the reduction in speeding incidents and repeat offenders where the speed cameras are placed,” said Tory.


A municipal speed warning sign located at Renforth Drive between Tabard Gate and Lafferty Street in Etobicoke.


Kamil Karamali / Global News

Below is a list of total tickets issued for each of the 50 ASE devices:

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  1. Royalcrest Road near Cabernet Circle (Etobicoke North): 2,544
  2. Harefield Drive near Barford Road (Etobicoke North): 90
  3. Renforth Drive near Lafferty Street (Etobicoke Centre): 5,404
  4. Trehorne Drive near Duffield Road (Etobicoke Centre): 1,677
  5. Horner Avenue near Orianna Drive (Etobicoke-Lakeshore): 1,358
  6. Chartwell Road south of Larstone Avenue (Etobicoke-Lakeshore): 46
  7. Jameson Avenue south of Laxton Avenue (Parkdale-High Park): 2,216
  8. Close Avenue south of Queen Street West (Parkdale-High Park): 167
  9. Bicknell Avenue south of Avon Drive (York South-Weston): 4,010
  10. Brookhaven Drive north of Nordale Crescent (York South-Weston): 925
  11. Faywood Boulevard near Laurelcrest Avenue (York Centre): 861
  12. Wilmington Avenue north of Purdon Drive (York Centre): 2,920
  13. Derrydown Road north of Catford Road (Humber River-Black Creek): 393
  14. Grandravine Drive east of Jane Street (Humber River-Black Creek): 605
  15. Corona Street south of Claver Avenue (Eglinton-Lawrence): 622
  16. Ridge Hill Drive west of Old Park Road (Eglinton-Lawrence): 1469
  17. Caledonia Road north of Rogers Road (Davenport): 4,267
  18. Gladstone Avenue south of Cross Street (Davenport): 1,271
  19. Manning Avenue north of Robinson Street (Spadina-Fort York): 66
  20. Givins Street south of Argyle Street (Spadina-Fort York): 100
  21. Lippincott Street south of Vankoughnet Street (University-Rosedale): 135
  22. Huron Street south of Bernard Avenue (University-Rosedale): 658
  23. Atlas Avenue south of Ava Road (Toronto-St. Paul’s): 116
  24. Brownlow Avenue south of Eglinton Avenue East (Toronto-St. Paul’s): 413
  25. Prospect Street east of Ontario Street (Toronto Centre): 10
  26. Spruce Street near Gifford Street (Toronto Centre): 13
  27. Chatham Avenue east of Jones Avenue (Toronto-Danforth): 1,634
  28. Morse Street south of Queen Street East (Toronto-Danforth): 118
  29. Bessborough Drive north of Field Avenue (Don Valley West): 817
  30. Ranleigh Avenue east of Yonge Street (Don Valley West): 874
  31. Gateway Boulevard near 10 Gateway Boulevard (Don Valley East): 3,273
  32. Ness Drive north of York Mills Road (Don Valley East): 32
  33. Elkhorn Drive west of Red Maple Court (Don Valley North): 305
  34. Cherokee Boulevard south of Pinto Drive (Don Valley North): 636
  35. Patricia Avenue west of Homewood Avenue (Willowdale): 941
  36. Lillian Street south of Abitibi Avenue (Willowdale): 756
  37. Main Street south of Swanwick Avenue (Beaches-East York): 1,294
  38. Barrington Avenue north of Secord Avenue (Beaches-East York): 1,547
  39. Falmouth Avenue south of Brussels Road (Scarborough Southwest): 362
  40. Birchmount Road north of Kingston Road (Scarborough Southwest): 2,514
  41. Brimorton Drive east of Hathway Drive (Scarborough Centre): 1,558
  42. Marcos Boulevard near Cicerella Crescent (Scarborough Centre): 27
  43. Beverly Glen Boulevard west of Stonebridge Boulevard (Scarborough-Agincourt): 31
  44. Silver Springs Boulevard near Revlis Crescent (Scarborough-Agincourt): 485
  45. Crow Trail near Bradstone Square (Scarborough North): 411
  46. Alton Towers Circle near 295 Alton Towers Circle (Scarborough North): 332
  47. Galloway Road north of Lawrence Avenue East (Scarborough-Guildwood): 35
  48. Military Trail east of Cindy Nicholas Drive (Scarborough-Guildwood): 1993
  49. Hupfield Trail near Glanvil Crescent (Scarborough-Rouge Park): 455
  50. Murison Boulevard near Curtis Crescent (Scarborough-Rouge Park): 304

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© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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14Jan

Manitoba reports 2 more coronavirus deaths, 261 new cases Thursday – Winnipeg

by BBG Hub

Health officials say another two Manitobans have died from COVID-19 and 261 more have been infected as case numbers swell in the north.

The latest cases announced on the province’s online COVID-19 portal Thursday bring the province’s total number of cases reported since March to 26,954 after health officials say two previously announced cases were removed due to a data correction.

Read more:
Manitoba reports 158 new coronavirus cases, 5 additional deaths

Since March, 755 Manitobans have died from COVID-19.

The latest victims in include a man in his 60s from the Winnipeg Health region and a man in his 90s from the Prairie Mountain Health region connected to an outbreak at the McCreary/Alonsa Health Centre.

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Coronavirus: Manitoba reports 158 new cases, 5 additional deaths


Coronavirus: Manitoba reports 158 new cases, 5 additional deaths

More than half of the new infections reported Thursday — 139 — were identified in the Northern Health region, health officials said.

Manitoba’s acting deputy chief provincial public health officer, Dr. Jazz Atwal said the spike in cases in northern Manitoba are in part due to people getting together despite public health orders banning members of different households from gathering.

“Some of these are cases and contacts in larger household where maybe one person while they were symptomatic went into another household to visit, and had some spread,” he said during a call with media Thursday.

“I’m not saying all cases are related to that, but there is some evidence of that.”

Read more:
Coronavirus rapid testing site opening for Manitoba school staff

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Atwal says cases are climbing in Lynn Lake, Garden Hill First Nation, and Thompson.

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The other new cases include 75 in the Winnipeg Health region, 13 in the Southern Health region, 23 in the Prairie Mountain Health region, and 11 cases in the Interlake-Eastern Health region.

The province announced Thursday it will now be using text messaging to support COVID-19 case and contact monitoring, in addition to phone calls from contact tracers and automated phone messages.


Click to play video 'Answering your COVID-19 questions, Jan. 14'







Answering your COVID-19 questions, Jan. 14


Answering your COVID-19 questions, Jan. 14

“Text messages for monitoring will be used in combination with support for members of the Manitoba government’s contact tracing team throughout the isolation period,” Atwal said.

“It will provide recipients with an opportunity to confirm their isolation status, report changes and their symptoms, and request direct contact from a contact tracer.”

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Read more:
Manitoba expands vaccine distribution to fight COVID 19 as cases remain low

According to the province there are currently 117 people in hospital with COVID-19 as well as 173 who remain in care but are no longer considered active cases, for a total of 289 hospitalizations as of Thursday morning.

There are 16 COVID-19 patients in ICU, with another 21 who are no longer infectious but continue to need critical care, for a total of 37 patients in ICU.

The province says a new outbreak has been declared at Rock Lake Hospital in Crystal City, but the outbreak is declared over at Gilbert Plains Personal Care Home in Gilbert Plains.

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The five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate was 10 per cent provincially and 7.1 per cent in Winnipeg as of Friday morning.

Health officials say 2,333 tests for novel coronavirus were done Wednesday, bringing the total number of tests done across the province since February to 446,018.

Read more:
Manitoba students going back to school Monday, says province

There were 2,866 active cases of COVID-19 across Manitoba on Thursday, according to provincial data, but Atwal said the number of active cases is likely closer to 1,394 due to a backlog in case monitoring.

Manitoba announced 155 new cases and five additional deaths from the virus on Wednesday.

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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus. In some provinces and municipalities across the country, masks or face coverings are now mandatory in indoor public spaces.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.





© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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8Jan

Victoria project looks to turn shipping containers into tiny homes for the homeless

by BBG Hub

The City of Victoria could soon be home to an innovative new tiny home village, meant to address the region’s homelessness crisis.

The pilot project, dubbed “Hey Neighbour,” is working to repurpose 30 shipping containers into tiny homes for people as they await more stable, permanent housing.

Read more:
Victoria council to debate giving free bus tickets, passes to the homeless

Each 160-square-foot unit would come equipped with a bed, a desk, a hot plate and a mini fridge.

Showers and bathrooms would be in a separate, common area.


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Victoria homeless count and new city motion


Victoria homeless count and new city motion – Aug 10, 2020

Victoria’s last homeless count in March, 2020 found 1,523 homeless people living in the city.

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Luke Mari, principal with Aryze Developments, said the idea was to fill the gap in transitional housing currently available.

“We just looked at the state of the housing need in Victoria, and just found that the discourse was either tents in parks or full modular housing,” he said.

“We thought there’s got to be something that’s quick, in-between, that gives people access to safe weather protected housing.”

Read more:
Victoria’s mayor will seek to block return of homeless campers to Centennial Square

The initiative has won the support of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

It’s also proven popular with residents, with a crowd-funding campaign nearly halfway to the $500,000 goal to build the project.

“What this says is that community really cares,” Kelly Roth, executive director of Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, said.

“We often hear the bad news stories and the negative things, and that seems to make bigger news, however, we have had an unbelievable outpouring of not just financial support but the volunteerism.”

Roth said COVID-19 had exacerbated an already challenging homelessness situation in the city.


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Campers allowed back to Victoria’s Centennial Square after clearout


Campers allowed back to Victoria’s Centennial Square after clearout – Sep 4, 2020

While the region’s homeless have been “fairly stabilized” in the city’s parks, the situation remained far from ideal, she said.

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“If you think about waking up in the morning or the middle of the night with snow in your tent or rain pouring into it and being cold, and being scared, and not wanting to be there … it’s a game changer for people to be able to be inside a space with a locked door they can call their own.”

Read more:
City of Victoria seeks court order to move homeless people in Beacon Hill Park

Sarah Murray, executive director of the North Park Neighbourhood Association, was also supportive.

Murray said that there had always been homeless campers in Victoria’s parks, but that since COVID-19 the encampments have become semi-permanent.

The association has been advocating to the city for better coordination of the sheltering that’s going on in Victoria’s parks.

“Shipping containers are more secure, they give people more privacy, they’re insulated, they’re fire proof, they’re just all around a better solution than people living in tents,” she said.


Click to play video 'City of Victoria wrestles with homelessness dilemma'







City of Victoria wrestles with homelessness dilemma


City of Victoria wrestles with homelessness dilemma – Jun 4, 2020

“Acknowledging that shipping containers are still not a home, this is an intermediate step that will hopefully keep people more comfortable while they’re awaiting long-term stable housing.”

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Advocates expect to be able to build the first 15 units in the project with the funding that’s already come in, but are still hoping to fill the gap.

The City of Victoria will also need to approve a location for the project.




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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7Jan

Health Matters: Alberta man loses 100 lbs and designs weight tracking app

by BBG Hub


Health Matters January 7: If you’re waiting for surgery in the Edmonton area, you may soon get an automated call from AHS. And an Edmonton man managed to lose 100 pounds — and keep it off — by using his engineering knowledge. Su-Ling Goh reports.


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6Jan

New waste carts coming to Edmonton – Edmonton

by BBG Hub

Garbage bags left at the curb are a normal sight in Edmonton residential neighbourhoods on waste collection day, but the city is taking steps to change this.

Starting in March, the city will be giving residents in all single-detached and some multi-unit homes a large cart to put their garbage bags in. Pickup frequency will be reduced from every week to every two weeks.

If residents know they produce less waste, they can request a smaller cart starting Feb. 12, and will save about $4 a month.

Read more:
Green carts coming? The status of Edmonton’s waste, recycling and compost plan

The carts will be collected by an automated collection truck instead of by hand which is how garbage is currently collected.

Recycling will still be picked up weekly and left on the curb in a blue bag.

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Residents will also be receiving a food scraps cart and pail. It will be collected weekly, excluding the winter months when it will start collection every two weeks.

READ MORE: 13 Edmonton neighbourhoods to test out new garbage sorting, collection system

“The most significant change for residents will be sorting food scraps,” waste strategy director Jodi Goebel said.

“Instead of throwing food out in a garbage bag, Edmontonians will be responsible for putting it in a little food scraps pail set up in the kitchen for emptying into a food scraps cart provided by the city.”

People can also top up the food scraps cart with yard waste.

This is the first big step in the city’s 25-year plan to divert 90 per cent of household waste from the landfill. It expects to reach about 65 per cent of residential waste reduction by 2023.

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In the next few months, the city will launch new programs within the Edmonton Cart Rollout. One will be for homeowners with legal secondary suites to have the opportunity to share one set of carts between all suites and save money on their utility rate.

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For residents who need help getting their garbage to the curb, the city will be offering an “assisted waste collection” service.

“Through two rounds of public engagement, Edmontonians expressed passion for waste management in their city and support for a cart-based system,” Goebel said. “The Edmonton Cart Rollout charts a clear path forward for transformational change for our city and will help us get closer to our overall waste-reduction goals.”

The city is encouraging residents to us its WasteWise app to find out when their new carts will be delivered, when the new collection system begins and to gather new sorting information.




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