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News & Events News Bites

News Bites from CDA Knowledge Networks – 2020/08/19

Coronavirus: What's happening in Canada and around the world on Tuesday. cbc.ca, Aug 19: Over 22 million coronavirus cases worldwide and 781,000 deaths, according to latest tracking data • COVID-19 continues to spike in B.C. as province extends state of emergency to Sept.  1.Quebec announces $106 million in additional funding for public health authorities to deal with possible second wave. • Ontario records another 99 new COVID-19 cases, death toll steady. • Germany's Merkel speaks out against relaxing COVID-19 rules. • Dutch government issues stricter recommendations after virus cases rise. • WHO says world should not live 'in hope' of achieving herd immunity without vaccine. Read more

Creating a Smarter, More Equitable COVID Response. dlsph.utoronto.ca, Aug 19: University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health launches the Institute for Pandemics. Read more

Loblaws pharmacies to offer more COVID-19 testing as province confirms 89 new cases. calgaryherald.com, Aug 18: As teachers and school staff are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 before the school year kicks off, Alberta Health Services is expanding its partnership with Loblaws Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart to offer more asymptomatic testing at pharmacies. ... As of Sept. 1, all 234 of the company’s pharmacies in Alberta will offer asymptomatic testing. Read more

Larger crowds will soon be allowed in Newfoundland and Labrador; new cap is 100. thechronicleherald.ca, Aug 18: The change to the measure will come into effect Monday, the same day as the requirement to wear masks in public space. Read more

Quebec blocks public schools from making masks mandatory in classroom. Public schools in Quebec won't be able to require their students to wear a mask in the classroom, even though some experts have endorsed the safety measure. The provincial back-to-school plan, announced last week, states that students in Grade 5 and above must wear masks when moving about the school. Read more

B.C. hits highest ever count for active COVID-19 cases after confirming 236 new infections. cbc.ca, Aug 17: British Columbia's surge in new COVID-19 cases is showing no sign of slowing, with another 236 cases confirmed since Friday afternoon. There are now 743 active cases of the illness in the province, which is the highest total to date. … the majority of new cases continue to involve young people, who often have mild versions of the COVID-19 illness caused by the virus. Read more

Canada bracing for expected fall peak of COVID-19 that could overwhelm health systems: Tam. nationalpost.com, Aug 14: As Canada continues to reopen and as more people gather together indoors, the federal government is planning for a 'reasonable worst-case scenario'. Read more

‘We can’t move fast enough.’ Huge Canadian-led international study to explore impact of COVID-19 on kids in 13 countries. thestar.com, Aug 17: THE GOAL: Understand how the SARS-CoV-2 virus impacts children, define the clinical picture of COVID-19 infection in kids, identify risk factors that could lead to severe illness and determine how regional public health policies influence how the disease spreads. Read more

Coronavirus accelerates a mental-health crisis for Canada's indigenous youth. cnn.com, Aug 16: Canadian teenagers on reserves were already at higher risk of suicide and depression before the unprecedented shutdown for Covid-19 in March. But then came the isolation, fear and a feeling that life was tough enough before the pandemic. Read more

Ventilator supply starts to increase as chief public health officer warns of possible surge of COVID-19. cbc.ca, Aug 15: Canada ordered more than 40,000 ventilators — but only 606 have arrived. Read more

Weekly Epidemiological Update - 1. who.int, Aug 17: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Read more

MIT researchers created a reusable face mask that works like an N95 respirator. cnn.com, Aug 19: Nurses and doctors have gone to creative extremes to reuse the same masks, gloves and scrubs they need to treat contagious coronavirus patients. But if a prototype mask created by researchers proves widely effective, it may be a safer alternative for health care workers. … Researchers still need to analyze how effectively it catches viral particles, but it's a promising step toward addressing the critical health care supply shortages. Read more

‘Vaccine nationalism’ will make the coronavirus pandemic worse, WHO says. globalnews.ca, Aug 18: The WHO has an Aug. 31 deadline for wealthier nations to join the “COVAX Global Vaccines Facility” for sharing vaccine hopefuls with developing countries. A letter has been sent to the WHO’s 194 member states, urging participation. Read more

U.S. border officials say they're seeing an increase in seizures of fake COVID-19 meds. bc.ctvnews.ca, Aug 18: Officials south of the border say they've seized eight shipments so far of unauthorized COVID-19 treatments. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the seizures have all been made at the Port of Seattle since the start of last month. Read more

Yale researcher says new coronavirus saliva test ‘might miss’ people with low infection levels. cnbc.com, Aug 18: Yale researcher Anne Wyllie told CNBC on Tuesday the school’s new saliva-based test for the coronavirus may not always detect people who have low infection levels. … But that potential weakness can be offset by regular testing. Read more

PPE Shortage Could Last Years Without Strategic Plan, Experts Warn. khn.org, Aug 17: Shortages of personal protective equipment and medical supplies could persist for years without strategic government intervention, officials from health care and manufacturing industries have predicted. Read more

Coronavirus pandemic now driven by younger adults: WHO. montrealgazette.com, Aug 18: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday it was concerned that the novel coronavirus spread was being driven by people in their 20s, 30s and 40s, many of whom were unaware they were infected, posing a danger to vulnerable groups. Read more

COVID-19 is now the No. 3 cause of death in the U.S. But testing to find and isolate cases has dropped off. ctvnews.ca, Aug 17: A virus that didn't even exist a year ago has now killed more Americans than Alzheimer's disease, accidents and diabetes. Read more

Opinion: The great gamble of COVID-19 vaccine development. thehill.com, Aug 17: We are over six months into the consequences of the SARS-Co-V2 pandemic in the United States. Patients, families and doctors are frightened, weary and frustrated by the lack of support from regulatory agencies…for medical prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. It has become apparent that America has adopted a late-illness hospitalization model while waiting patiently and painfully for the panacea of a COVID-19 vaccine. Read more

New saliva-based COVID-19 test could be a fast and cheap 'game changer'. ctvnews.ca, Aug 16: After months of frustration over testing shortages and delays, a new saliva test could give Americans a fast and inexpensive option to learn if they have COVID-19. Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health created the SalivaDirect test, which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday. … Researchers said the new test can produce results in less than three hours, and the accuracy is on par with results from traditional nasal swabbing. They said SalivaDirect tests could become publicly available in the coming weeks. Read more

CDC: Those who recover from COVID-19 have 3-month window for safe mingling. axios.com, Aug 14: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance Friday evening suggesting that those who test positive for COVID-19 and recover "do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again." Read more

Masks, surgical gowns, testing supplies on FDA shortage list. politico.com, Aug 14: Surgical gowns, gloves, masks, certain ventilators and various testing supplies needed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic are on the FDA's first-ever list of medical devices in shortage. The agency is not disclosing who makes any of the items on the list because that “will adversely affect the public health by increasing the potential for hoarding or other disruptions.” Read more

Thousands of students, staff sent home nationwide as COVID snarls school reopenings. abcnews.go.com, Aug 14: Only 17 states meet the WHO's criteria for safely reopening a community. The U.S. attempt to return children to the classroom this fall has turned into a slow-motion train wreck, with at least 2,400 students and staff either infected with COVID-19 or self-isolating because of exposure, and the vast majority of large school districts opting to go online this summer amid rising cases of the virus. Read more

Should e-cigarettes be banned amid coronavirus? Why some U.S. lawmakers are pushing for it. globalnews.ca, Aug 12: A Stanford University study found those who vaped were five times more likely to be diagnosed with the novel coronavirus than non-users, prompting some United States lawmakers to try to temporarily ban the sale of e-cigarettes until more research can be done on their effects. Read more

EU agrees first COVID-19 vaccine deal with AstraZeneca in WHO blow. reuters.com, Aug 14: The European Union has agreed to buy at least 300 million doses of AstraZeneca’s potential COVID-19 vaccine in its first such advance purchase deal, which could weaken plans led by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a global approach. Read more

Coronavirus vaccine: UK signs deals for 90 million virus vaccine doses. bbc.com, Aug 14: The vaccines are being developed by the Belgian pharmaceutical company Janssen and the US biotech company Novavax. It means the UK has placed orders for six experimental vaccines, taking its potential stockpile to 340 million doses. Read more

Preliminary Sask. stats suggest record overdose deaths in 2020. o.canada.com, Aug 19: Saskatchewan recorded more suspected and confirmed drug toxicity deaths in the first eight months of 2020 than the entirety of 2018. Read more

Trudeau prorogues Parliament until Sept. 23 after appointing Chrystia Freeland Finance Minister. theglobeandmail.com, Aug 19: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prorogued Parliament Tuesday, saying he needs a Throne Speech to launch a new recovery plan and insisting the move is consistent with his party’s pledge not to misuse the procedural move. Read more

‘I feel like I’m not going to be lost in the system’: How COVID-19 has actually helped some homeless shelter residents. thestar.com, Aug 18: Including housing allowances, the city has helped 1,570 people move from the shelter system to permanent homes since the pandemic struck hard in mid-March. In the same period last year, 1,050 shelter residents were housed through the same two programs. Read more

How many Canadian kids suffer harm linked to vaping and cannabis? cmajnews.com, Aug 14: Canadian pediatricians saw dozens of children and teens harmed by vaping and recreational cannabis last year – numbers some experts say may underestimate the problem. Yet, when it comes to vaping, many pediatricians remain unsure of how to raise the issue with young patients. Read more

Stopping tooth decay before it starts -- without killing bacteria. sciencedaily.com, Aug 17: Eating sugar or other carbohydrates causes the bacteria to quickly rebuild this tough and sticky biofilm and to produce acids that corrode tooth enamel, leading to cavities. Scientists now report a treatment that could someday stop plaque and cavities from forming in the first place, using a new type of cerium nanoparticle formulation that would be applied to teeth at the dentist's office. Read more

FDI celebrates 120th anniversary. eu.dental-tribune.com, Aug 18: This past Saturday, 15 August, marked the 120th anniversary of the founding of FDI World Dental Federation (FDI). In celebration of the occasion, FDI President Dr Gerhard K. Seeberger shared an anniversary statement in which he called this milestone a monumental day for FDI and revealed a short preview of an upcoming video that will detail the history and achievements of the organisation. Read more

Amid COVID-19 crisis, flu shot makers see record U.S. production. ctvnews.ca, Aug 15: Global influenza vaccine makers have produced a record number of doses for the coming flu season, as authorities try to ease the burden on hospitals ahead of an expected COVID-19 resurgence. In the U.S., pharmaceutical companies plan to make around 196 million doses to serve the population of 330 million, according to the CDC. Read more

Amazon launches online pharmacy in India. bbc.com, Aug 14: Online retail giant Amazon has launched an internet pharmacy in India, marking its entry into the country's online medicine market. Amazon Pharmacy will make its debut in Bangalore and it may be trialled in other Indian cities. The move comes as the online drugs business has been given a major boost during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more

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