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News Bites from CDA Knowledge Networks – 2020/05/06

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Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world Wednesday. cbc.ca, May 6: Government faces opposition grilling over COVID-19 response, Commons reconvenes. ANALYSIS | Why the COVID-19 death rate is higher in the U.S. than Canada. Anxious about COVID-19 and returning to work? Here's what you need to know. Demands grow for national, universal long-term care in response to pandemic. INTERACTIVE | See the latest data on coronavirus cases in Canada. Read more

Depleted national stockpile leaves Canada reliant on China for masks, gowns and other supplies during pandemic. cbc.ca, May 6: Health Canada has temporarily lowered its standard for the importation PPE to meet demand. Read more

Vaccine makers, experts, forecast global challenges securing COVID-19 vaccine. ipolitics.ca, May 5: Back in 1976, as fear over a swine flu epidemic seized the United States, Canada suddenly found itself waiting on vaccines that wouldn’t arrive. ... Now, as the global race towards a COVID-19 vaccine charges on, some working in the vaccine field predict that history could repeat itself. Read more

Coronavirus: 500,000 surgical masks donated to Canada from Taiwan. globalnews.ca, May 5: A donation of 500,000 surgical masks needed by health-care workers on the front lines of the novel coronavirus pandemic has been officially handed over to Canada from Taiwan. Read more

Alberta contact tracing app can't run in the background on iPhones. edmonton.ctvnews.ca, May 5: Beyond the privacy concerns and since-resolved technical challenges that came with the launch of Alberta’s new contact tracing app, there are also a few practical limitations some believe could limit its user-friendliness. Read more

Rapid test kit recall underscores importance of Canada’s lab technologists. empireadvacne.ca, May 5: The recent recall of Canada’s first rapid point-of-care test device highlights the importance of laboratory testing capacity to handle the anticipated colossal effort required to trace and test suspected COVID-19 infections during a so-called re-opening of social and economic activity. Read more

'You got to pick up the pace': Ford slams some local medical officers of health for not conducting enough COVID-19 tests. cp24.com, May 5: Premier Doug Ford blamed local health officials for the province’s poor testing numbers Tuesday, despite the fact that testing falls under provincial jurisdiction. Read more

Data gaps exist on COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities, says research fellow. cbc.ca, May 6: Leaders and academics have concerns the data being collected and reported on COVID-19 cases in Indigenous communities isn't presenting a full picture. Read more

COVID-19: Canada joins global community in helping to raise $11 billion towards vaccine. nationalpost.com, May 4: The European Union organized the pledge conference in an effort to fill the World Health Organization’s funding gaps. Read more

Rapid COVID-19 test restricted by Health Canada will be fixed by summer, company's CEO says. cbc.ca, May 4: Swab designed for use with test was unable to collect significant enough biological samples. Read more

Ottawa establishes COVID-19 supply council as rapid testing efforts hit a snag. cbc.ca, May 3: The federal government says it has established a national supply council tasked with improving Canada's efforts to procure equipment and other tools to halt the spread of COVID-19 as provinces take early steps to reopen businesses shuttered by the crisis. Read more

Several provinces begin easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. ctvnews.ca, May 4: A much anticipated new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic starts today with several provinces beginning the process of slowly loosening some of their lockdown restrictions. Read more

Poll shows less than half of Canadians wear masks or gloves when out in public. theglobeandmail.com, May 3: With Canada’s economy starting to reopen, a new poll shows less than half of Canadians are wearing personal protective equipment when they go outside their homes. Read more

Public health officials take seriously new research that children may not be superspreaders after all. cbc.ca, May 4. Survey of Australian coronavirus cases at schools shows almost no transmission to other kids. What Australian researchers are calling the first survey on children and the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom is turning heads in Canada. Read more

Rapid test for COVID-19 recalled after Health Canada expresses concerns. ctvnews.ca, May 3: An Ottawa biotech company is voluntarily recalling a rapid test for COVID-19 after Health Canada expressed concern about its effectiveness, dealing a setback to expanded testing in the country. Read more

Working through COVID-19: How is employee benefits coverage being affected. conferenceboard.ca, May 4: The Conference Board of Canada asked organizations across Canada how they are managing employee benefits…as COVID-19 distancing measures continue. Findings of the survey are now available. Read more

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). who.int, May 5: Situation report - 106. Read more

Live updates: Trump says coronavirus task force will continue 'indefinitely’; U.S. death toll surpasses 70,000. washingtonpost.com, May 6: U.S. companies shed 20.2 million jobs from their payrolls in April according to the ADP Research Institute. Many infectious-disease researchers have expressed skepticism about a new paper — not yet peer-reviewed — suggesting that a strain of the coronavirus has mutated to become more contagious. Almost every inmate inside a Louisiana women’s prison facility has tested positive for the virus. Read more

Pfizer begins human testing for experimental coronavirus vaccine in the US. cnbc.com, May 5: The U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant, which is working alongside German drugmaker BioNTech, said the first human participants in the United States have been dosed with the potential vaccine, BNT162. Read more

New Rutgers Saliva Test for Coronavirus Gets FDA Approval. rutgers.edu, Apr 28: Emergency use authorization granted for new biomaterial collection approach. Read more

Amazon, Pfizer, 3M partner with ICE to stop sale of counterfeit coronavirus gear. thehill.com, May 5: ... Operation Stolen Promise, which was launched to eliminate illegal activity related to the pandemic, will focus on banned pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, websites defrauding consumers, and other criminal activities involving trade or financial systems. Read more

3M granted injunction against New Jersey company in N95 price-gouging scheme. ada.org, May 5: A federal judge on May 4 granted 3M, the maker of N95 masks, an injunction against a New Jersey-based company accused of using 3M’s trademarks and deliberately inflating the price of the face masks. Read more

Nations Back Push for Universal Access to Covid-19 Vaccines. bloomberg.com, May 5: Global health groups and several countries are backing an effort to ensure the equitable deployment of potential COVID-19 vaccines, seen as the key to ending the pandemic. Read more

Trump Says Task Force Will Wind Down nytimes.com, May 5: Despite growing evidence that the pandemic is still raging, President Trump and other administration officials said on Tuesday that they had made so much progress in bringing it under control that they planned to wind down the coronavirus task force in the coming weeks and focus the White House on restarting the economy. Read more

Whistleblower alleges Trump administration ignored coronavirus warnings. axios.com, May 5: Rick Bright…filed a whistleblower complaint Tuesday alleging that the Department of Health and Human Services failed to take early action to mitigate the threat of the novel coronavirus. Read more

COVID-19 vaccine hunt heats up globally, still no guarantee. apnews.com, May 4: Hundreds of people are rolling up their sleeves in countries across the world to be injected with experimental vaccines that might stop COVID-19. Read more

Japan sending Fujifilm’s flu drug favipiravir to over 40 countries for Covid-19 trials. cnbc.com, May 4: While remdesivir is intended for the most severe cases, reducing recovery time, U.S. doctors are also testing an influenza drug made by a Japanese photography company amid hopes that it may help a wider range of patients. Read more

FDA tightens oversight of blood tests used to detect coronavirus antibodies. usatoday.com, May 4: The Food and Drug Administration announced plans Monday to bolster oversight of antibody tests by requiring commercial test makers to meet new standards of accuracy and submit information proving the testing quality. Read more

Pfizer, BioNTech are set to begin US coronavirus vaccine trial. cnbc.com, May 5: Pfizer and BioNTech said they have begun delivering doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines for initial human testing in the U.S. Read more

A majority of vaccine skeptics plan to refuse a COVID-19 vaccine, a study suggests, and that could be a big problem. theconversation.com, May 4: Whether a vaccine can end this pandemic successfully, however, depends on more than its effectiveness at providing immunity against the virus, or how quickly it can be produced in mass quantities. Read more

Apple and Google reveal what their coronavirus contact tracing system might look like. cnbc.com, May 4: Apple and Google on Monday revealed sample code and screenshots of example software using the companies’ contact tracing software. Read more

European virus tracing apps highlight battle for privacy. apnews.com, May 4: As governments race to develop mobile tracing apps to help contain infections, attention is turning to how officials will ensure users’ privacy. Read more

Roche wins U.S. nod for COVID-19 antibody test, aims to boost output. reuters.com, May 3: Roche (ROG.S) has won emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an antibody test to determine whether people have ever been infected with the coronavirus. Read more

Scientists concerned focus on COVID-19 disrupting regular health research funds. ctvnews.ca, May 5: The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) put off its regular $275-million competition this spring to focus on delivering federal grants related to the novel coronavirus. Read more

Pandemic shows power of doctor's phone call to provide care. cbc.ca, May 6: …but now that doctors across Canada have embraced virtual care, some clinicians and patients would like to see it continue. Read more

Many more Canadians are accidentally poisoning themselves with cleaning products while trying to disinfect their homes, according to data from poison control centres and Health Canada Reports. ctvnews.ca, May 5: The federal health agency confirmed to CTVNews.ca that calls to poison control centres about hand sanitizers, disinfectants and bleach jumped 103 per cent in March from the same month in 2019. Read more

Chiropractors remove anti-vaccination website posts following media coverage: study. ctvnews.ca, May 5: Many Canadian chiropractors who advocated against vaccinations have removed vaccine-related information from their websites after attracting extensive coverage by media outlets. Read more

Vaping among Canadian teens doubles in 2 years, new research shows. cbc.ca, May 5: New research reveals vaping among Canadian youth has risen dramatically over the past two years, and experts say it shows no signs of slowing down unless stricter regulations are put in place immediately. Read more

No timeline for federal budget amid coronavirus uncertainty, Trudeau says. globalnews.ca, May 4: The government had been scheduled at the end of March to release its first budget since winning re-election as a minority. But that release was scrapped when the House of Commons suspended on March 13 as part of a nationwide shutdown to try to limit the spread of COVID-19. Read more

There's been no spike in personal and business bankruptcies, but surge is expected this fall. cbc.ca, May 5: Patient creditors, mortgage deferrals, income tax delay helping hold off the worst. For lawyers handling consumer bankruptcies, business is actually down — fewer people are filing now then they did last year. But that could all change around this fall, when a huge spike is expected. Read more

Le Canada est en récession, selon l'Institut C.D. Howe. ici.radio-canada.ca: L'agence fédérale a aussi signalé que plus de 1 million d'emplois avaient été perdus au pays en mars à la suite de l'imposition de mesures de confinement par les gouvernements. Lire plus

Smile Direct Club Increases Dental Care Access Via Partnerships With Major U.S. Insurers. stockwatch.com, May 6: SmileDirectClub … continues to offer increased access to convenient, affordable and remote orthodontic care through partnerships with UnitedHealthCare, Aetna and beginning in May, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Read more

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs to exit South Korea after year of health controversies. reuters.com, May 6: U.S. e-cigarette maker Juul Labs said on Wednesday it would end operations in South Korea, a year after it entered the market there but failed to gain traction amid government health warnings. Read more

UCLA dental school researchers create nanoparticle that could improve bone defect treatment. ada.org, May 5: Sterosome activated bone regeneration in laboratory tests with mice. Read more

Are sugar substitutes too sweet to be true? health.harvard.edu, May 4: Research results about the potential consequences of regularly consuming sugar substitutes have been inconsistent. Read more

Juul donated to New Jersey politicians even as they considered vaping restrictions. politico.com, May 4: The donations from Juul Labs came even after Sweeney called for a ban on all vaping products and then pushed a bill that would severely restrict their sales in New Jersey. Read more

Study: Chronic exposure to inhaled nicotine alone leads to pulmonary hypertension. news-medical.net, May 4: A study conducted by a team of researchers at LSU Health New Orleans has shown for the first time that chronic exposure to inhaled nicotine alone increases blood pressure (hypertension), in both the body's general circulation and in the lungs that can lead to pulmonary hypertension. Read more

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