Psychologists in Nova Scotia are offering their services to those affected by last April's mass shooting in Portapique, N.S.
Psychologists in Nova Scotia are offering their services to those affected by last April's mass shooting in Portapique, N.S.
THE LATEST: Health officials announced 3,289 cases of COVID-19 and 18 new deaths over the last three days. The provincial death toll from the disease is at 1,513. There are currently 9,937 active COVID-19 cases in B.C. So far, 1,112,101 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. There are 368 patients are in hospital, including 121 people in critical care. Health officials announced 3,289 cases of COVID-19 and 18 new deaths over the last three days. A three-week "circuit breaker" was implemented on March 29, putting in place sweeping new restrictions on indoor dining in restaurants, group fitness activities and worship services. Since that time, the province has announced several record-breaking single-day case counts and has seen a rise in hospitalizations. As of Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced there were 368 patients in hospital, including 121 people in critical care. The number of patients in critical care with the disease has risen to a record high. Vaccination registration expanding The province has announced dates for those aged 40 and older to register for their vaccine: Monday, April 12 — born 1966 or earlier (55+) Wednesday, April 14 — born 1971 or earlier (50+) Friday, April 16 — born 1976 or earlier (45+) Monday, April 19 — born 1981 or earlier (40+) Registering for a vaccine is not the same as booking the appointment to get your shot. Once registered, users receive a confirmation code. They then wait for an email, text or call telling them they are eligible and can then book their vaccine appointment using that code. A man wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past a billboard in Vancouver. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press) Indigenous people 18 or older and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can also now register to book their vaccine appointment through B.C.'s new Get Vaccinated system. The province is also continuing to vaccinate people between the ages of 55 and 65 with the AstraZeneca vaccine in local pharmacies throughout the province. Vaccine registration There are three ways to register for vaccinations: By phone through the provincial phone line at 1-833-838-2323. In person at any Service B.C. location. Health Minister Adrian Dix said on Saturday that vaccine doses would also be set aside to vaccinate people in communities where there were outbreaks. Whistler jabs On Sunday, Vancouver Coastal Health announced that all adults who live and work in Whistler, B.C., will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday. The health authority says it's launching the two-week vaccination program because of increasing transmission of the virus in the ski resort community. It says there were 1,505 confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded in Whistler between Jan. 1 and April 5, which is the highest rate of COVID-19 of any local health area in the province. Cypress Mountain on Vancouver's North Shore announced Sunday was its last day of operations for the ski season, marking an early closure. The resort said it made the decision based on the rapid spread of more contagious coronavrius variants in the region, despite good snow conditions that could have allowed for an extended season. People waiting to get on a lift at Whistler Blackcomb in January 2021.(Submitted) On March 30, Whistler Blackcomb decided not to reopen for the tail end of the ski season following a provincial health order that closed the hills until April 19. On Friday, the province said there are currently 4,111 cases of COVID-19 that are confirmed variants of concern in B.C. Of the total cases, 105 are active and the remaining people have recovered. Read more: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of Sunday, Canada had reported 1,060,157 cases of COVID-19, with 73,447 cases considered active. A total of 23,315 people have died of the disease. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is urging the public to hold on a bit longer for things to return to normal following a COVID-19 lockdown. Kenney says with more vaccines coming three-quarters of Albertans should have had at least one shot by mid-September.
Two confirmed cases of the variant first detected in South Africa have been identified in New Brunswick. In a news release Monday, Public Health said the two cases were reported in the Saint John region, Zone 2. They are the first confirmed cases of that variant identified in New Brunswick, which until now has only seen cases of the variant first reported in the U.K. One of the cases is related to travel outside of Canada and the other is a contact of that travel case, the department said in the release. The variant is more transmissible and causes more serious outcomes than the original coronavirus. In an interview Monday, Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, said the risks to the New Brunswick population have never been higher than they are now. "We have never had this many hospitalizations and ICU admissions at one time," she said. There are currently 145 active cases in the province.(CBC News) 10 new cases reported Ten new cases have been reported, affecting two zones, in New Brunswick on Monday. The cases break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, four cases: An individual 20 to 29 An individual 30 to 39 Two people 40 to 49 One of these cases is linked to travel and the other three are under investigation. Edmundston region, Zone 4, six cases: Two people 19 and under. An individual 20 to 29. An individual 30 to 39. An individual 50 to 59. An individual 60 to 69. Two of these cases are contacts of a previously confirmed cases and the other four are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,732. Since Sunday, 13 people have recovered for a total of 1,553 recoveries. There have been 33 deaths The number of active cases is 145. Eighteen patients are hospitalized, including 13 in an intensive care unit. A total of 268,096 tests have been conducted, including 737 since Sunday's report. The number of people who've received at least one dose of a vaccine is 136,494 — more than 20 per cent of those eligible. These doses include 625 administered since Sunday, according to the province's dashboard published Monday afternoon. A total of 136,494 New Brunswickers have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far.(CBC News) All new cases presumed to be variant cases Every new case of COVID-19 popping up now in the province is presumed to be a variant of the coronavirus, says New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health. Dr. Jennifer Russell said the variants are 30 to 70 per cent more contagious than the virus that dominated the first year of the pandemic and pose more of a threat to young people, causing severe symptoms. "Now we're seeing those serious outcomes in terms of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s needing hospitalization and ventilation." As of Monday afternoon, the variant first reported in the United Kingdom and the variant first detected in South Africa have both been found in New Brunswick, but Russell said she wouldn't be surprised if new cases were of the variant first reported Brazil. I won't feel completely reassured until everybody has that second dose on board by September. - Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick chief medical officer of health Russell is asking people to keep their guard up at least until the end of June. By then, everyone in New Brunswick should have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. She said the next two and a half months are critical for protecting against outbreaks. "We're just not there yet," she said. "I need everybody to dig deep and go hard for the next two and a half months at least." Russell said she will be cautious about lifting any kind of public health measures in the foreseeable future. "I won't feel completely reassured until everybody has that second dose on board by September." Edmundston deputy mayor begs residents to stay home Edmundston's deputy mayor is pleading with residents to stay home as the number of COVID-19 variant cases continues to climb in the region. Deputy Mayor Eric Marquis said it's frustrating to hear people are still going out, despite possible infection, exposing others to the virus. "It's hitting hard," Marquis said. "We all know somebody who is hit with COVID in our region right now." The Edmundston and Haut-Madawaska areas were placed under the province's tightest public health measures over the weekend. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close and schools have moved to to virtual learning. This is the second time this year that the region has been placed under lockdown. Marquis said Public Health made the right decision. "People are realizing we don't have any choice." Edmundston Deputy Mayor Eric Marquis says residents are still heading out, despite possible exposure to COVID-19 variants. (Gary Moore/CBC News) Facing an influx of COVID-19 patients, the Edmundston Regional Hospital continues to be overwhelmed. New admissions are now being directed to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton. Marquis said the situation has been grim and difficult on families. "Our hospital staff are stretched to their limit," he said. Five patients with COVID-19 are on ventilators at the Edmundston Regional Hospital.(Radio-Canada) Most of the patients are infected with the variant first reported in the U.K., with some as young as 25. Last week, a 38-year-old Saint-Basile man became the youngest person in the province to die from COVID-19. Vaccination clinics are now open in the Grand Falls and Saint-Quentin areas. Marquis expects another vaccine clinic to open in Edmundston on Friday. He said the pandemic has been making it difficult for businesses in the area to stay afloat, so the city is working with government to come up with a program to help them. "We see it as the answer to the crisis we're having right now." Next month's municipal election has also been postponed because of the lockdown. Elections New Brunswick will look at the length of the lockdown before deciding when to hold the election. Marquis urged residents to stay positive, saying the pandemic will eventually come to an end. "We're going to bounce back and have better days." How students are reacting to full-time classes being put on hold A Grade 11 student at Tantramar Regional High School in Sackville says he's relieved full-time classes did not resume on Monday. Over the weekend, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard announced a delay in return to full-time, in-person school on Monday as a precaution. "With COVID, it's the safest option," said student Bliss Behar. He said there can be up to 30 students inside a classroom at one time, making physical distancing difficult. He said the smaller class sizes make it easier to learn. At home, he's been learning to self-regulate and is making sure his assignments are completed on time. "That prepares us for university," Behar said. But the Sackville teen said he understands not everyone feels the same way. Although Mekedess Maillet understands the decision to postpone full-time classes, the Grade 11 was still disappointed. "It kind of feels like I'm losing some of my learning." said Maillet, who attends Bonar Law Memorial High School in Rexton. She wants classes to resume full-time so she's prepared for university. Maillet said some classes are harder than others, and having a break in between in-person days makes information sometimes more difficult to retain. "I already feel like maybe I don't know enough for university level. ... am I not as ahead as I would be?" Maillet said she and her friends miss attending classes in person, so it's hard to stay motivated without an end date in sight. "It's been a very roller-coaster of a year for school." Luc Bélanger, 38, of Saint-Basile in Zone 4 died of COVID-19 on Tuesday.(Bellavance Funeral Home/Radio-Canada) Stephanie Patterson, spokesperson for the Anglophone East School District, said the district communicated changes after the province made its announcement Saturday afternoon. "After going through this year, we're always prepared for something to pop out of the woodwork," said Patterson. She said teachers have been preparing for the full-time classes starting Monday. Now, they'll have to change back to online learning. "It's challenging for everybody to have to always switch on a dime," she said. Zoe Watson, superintendent of Anglophone South, also said a lot of work went into preparing for full-time classes this week. She said principals were changing operational plans, furniture was being put back into classrooms and teachers had adjusted seating plans. Transportation was also being adjusted to ensure physical distancing on school buses. "I appreciate it gets very confusing for families. … We always knew this was going to be a school year like no other." Premiers monitor Atlantic bubble possibility The bubble with all four Atlantic provinces is expected to open in one week's time, but the premiers and health officials are watching things day by day, says Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health. As of Sunday, there were 40 active cases of the virus reported in Nova Scotia. Ten active cases in Newfoundland, as of Saturday and six active cases were reported on Prince Edward Island as of Friday. "We're going to watch and wait and see how things unfold," she said. Possible flight exposures New Brunswick Public Health has has identified a positive case in a traveller who might've been infectious on two flights on March 10. Air Canada Flight 8906 – from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:10 p.m. Air Canada Flight 414 – from Toronto to Montreal, departed at 2:10 p.m. Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said many people are continuing to travel for various reasons. "We won't be able to keep cases of COVID-19 and the variants out of the province," she said. "They will keep arriving." She said it's possible people are making stops in major cities like Toronto to receive a test. If they receive a negative test, Russell, said those people come back to New Brunswick with a false sense of security and think they're self-isolating adequately. The presence of a more contagious variant has also changed the outook. "It's a very contagious variant." Although Russell said New Brunswick has adopted some of the tightest restrictions for getting into a province, Russell is encouraging everyone to stay put. "When we move, COVID moves," she said. "So the less travel the better." More possible exposures Edmundston area: April 9 between 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (160 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 8 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., April 7 between 6:30 a.m and 7:00 a.m., and April 6 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. – Tim Hortons (262 Isidore-Boucher Blvd., St-Jacques) April 7 between after 6:00 p.m., April 6 after 6:00 p.m. – Epicerie Chez ti-Marc (256 Isidore-Boucher Blvd., St-Jacques) April 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and April 6 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – Dollarama (787 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., and April 6 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – NB Liquor, (575 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – Jean Coutu (177 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 7 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Subway (180 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 7 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 6 between 6:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 26 to April 8 – Napa Auto Parts - (260 Canada St., Edmundston) March 20 to April 9, Atlantic Superstore (577 Victoria St., Edmundston) April 5 at 11 a.m. – Shoppers Drug Mart (160 Hébert Blvd., Edmundston) April 1 – Royal Bank (48 Saint-François St., Edmundston) March 31 between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 30 between 12 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) March 29 between 8:45 a.m. and 4 p.m. – Scotiabank (75 Canada Rd., Edmundston) Moncton region: April 8 between 4:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. – COSTCO Wholesale customer service (140 Granite Drive, Moncton) April 6 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. – YMCA Vaughan Harvey, (30 War Veterans Ave., Moncton) April 4 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – Moncton Wesleyan Church (945 St. George Blvd., Moncton) April 3 between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. – Kelseys Original Roadhouse (141 Trinity Dr., Moncton) April 1 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., April 3 between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., April 6 between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., April 8 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. – CF Champlain (477 Paul St., Dieppe) Fredericton region: March 31 – Murray's Irving Big Stop (198 Beardsley Rd., Beardsley) Saint John region: April 9 between 2:10 p.m. and 2:40 p.m., GAP Factory East Point, (15 Fashion Dr., Saint John) April 9 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John April 8 between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., – McAllister Place, 519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John April 8 between 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m. – Service New Brunswick, 15 King Square North, Saint John April 1 between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – YMCA of Greater Saint John (191 Churchill Blvd., Saint John) What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: Fever above 38 C. New cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is urging the public to hold on a little longer by following COVID-19 restrictions while condemning those using threats and intimidation to protest the rules. Provincial sheriffs estimated about 750 people gathered at the legislature on Monday to protest public-health restrictions. Some chanted "lock her up" in reference to the province's chief medical health officer, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. "They also chanted 'just say no' to vaccines," Kenney later said on Twitter. "It’s particularly offensive to threaten a committed public servant like Dr. Hinshaw, a consummate professional who has offered the best possible health advice to govt. I call on those responsible to stop the threats & law breaking, which is a disservice to their own cause." Kenney added that another large protest on Sunday at GraceLife Church west of Edmonton, which was recently closed by health officials for violating restrictions, resulted in the arrest of a protester who allegedly shouted racial insults at a First Nations woman on a nearby reserve. Kenney said a car belonging to the chief of Enoch Cree Nation was also vandalized. No tickets were issued at the legislature protest, Alberta Justice spokesman Jason van Rassel said. "Albertans respect the freedoms of speech and protest," said Kenney. "But breaking the law, trespassing, threats and intimidation go too far. I condemn these actions and statements. It is increasingly clear that many involved in these protests are unhinged conspiracy theorists." Earlier Monday, Kenney held a news conference and asked Albertans to keep following the rules and get vaccinated. Kenney said the amount of available vaccine is increasing and he expects a quarter of Albertans will have some protection from the novel coronavirus in a matter of weeks. Half of the population should have at least one shot by the end of May, two-thirds by the end of June and three-quarters by mid-September, he said. "We're nearing the end of a long and tiring journey. It is our path to recovery and freedom," Kenney said. "Once two-thirds of us have immunity, we'll start to feel back to normal. There'll be no formal restrictions. (Calgary) Stampede, sporting events, other festivals will be possible, especially if outdoors. "Once three-quarters of us are immune, we expect we'll be fully back to normal." Kenney said masks and physical distancing will still be encouraged of Albertans but not mandated. The province has opened what it calls rapid flow vaccination clinics in Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. Mega clinics — each able to able to administer up to 1,000 doses per hour and 6,000 per day — opened in Calgary and Edmonton on Monday. Kenney has said vaccine rollout is critical, as the impact of COVID-19 on the province has become a race between the rise of the variants and getting a critical mass of people vaccinated. The variants, which are more contagious than the original strain, now make up about half of Alberta's 14,800 active cases. On Monday, Alberta reported a slight dip in new COVID-19 cases with 1,136 infections. It said 679 new variant cases were also identified. There were also 390 people in hospital because of the virus and 90 were in intensive care. "Right now the variants are winning that race," said Kenney. He added that socializing among young people remains a concern. A Calgary high school had to shut down recently because students were having house parties. And in Athabasca, northeast of Edmonton, a number of schools had to be closed because of infections. "A bunch of kids from one of those schools were brought together by their parents for a birthday party," Kenney explained. "Apparently the virus had a 100 per cent attack rate at that birthday party. All of the kids, who came to that birthday party, got sick." This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021. — By Bill Graveland in Calgary The Canadian Press
One of the three people accused of supplying ammunition to the man responsible for killing 22 people last April in Nova Scotia has pleaded not guilty to the charge. James Banfield, 65, of Beaver Bank, N.S., did not appear Monday in Dartmouth provincial court, but lawyers entered the not guilty plea on his behalf. Banfield is scheduled to go to trial on Jan. 24, 2022. A pre-trial conference in his case is set for June 17. Banfield is an older brother of Gabriel Wortman's common-law spouse, Lisa Banfield. Both Banfields are charged with unlawfully providing Wortman with ammunition prior to his killing rampage. A lawyer representing Lisa Banfield was in court two weeks ago and will return May 5 after it was determined her defence's request for a private meeting with the judge and Crown before a plea wasn't appropriate. The third person charged is her brother-in-law Brian Brewster, 61, of Lucasville, N.S. He is scheduled to appear in court April 19. Twenty-two people died on April 18 and 19. Top row from left: Gina Goulet, Dawn Gulenchyn, Jolene Oliver, Frank Gulenchyn, Sean McLeod, Alanna Jenkins. Second row: John Zahl, Lisa McCully, Joey Webber, Heidi Stevenson, Heather O'Brien and Jamie Blair. Third row from top: Kristen Beaton, Lillian Campbell, Joanne Thomas, Peter Bond, Tom Bagley and Greg Blair. Bottom row: Emily Tuck, Joy Bond, Corrie Ellison and Aaron Tuck. (CBC) The trio are alleged to have provided Wortman with .223-calibre Remington cartridges and .40-calibre Smith & Wesson cartridges in the month leading up to the massacre that started in Portapique, N.S. When RCMP announced the charges in December, the force said in a press release that the three had no prior knowledge of what Wortman would do on April 18 and 19, 2020. That weekend, he killed 22 neighbours, acquaintances and strangers in several communities while masquerading as an RCMP officer. The denturist torched his own cottage, garage and other homes over a 13-hour period before being shot dead by police at a gas station in Enfield, N.S. MORE TOP STORIES