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September 19, 2001 - Gabrielle Grazes Newfoundland

September 19, 2001 - Gabrielle Grazes NewfoundlandHurricane Gabrielle flooded Newfoundland and was responsible for the cancellation of mail delivery.

Ontario long-term-care homes could face brutal 2nd wave of COVID-19, doctor warns

Ontario long-term-care homes could face brutal 2nd wave of COVID-19, doctor warnsAs COVID-19 cases shoot up in Ontario, a geriatrician says the province is poised to repeat its first-wave mistakes in the long-term care sector. "We have the potential now to have a second wave that may eclipse the first," Dr. Nathan Stall, who works at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital, told CBC Toronto. The first few months of the pandemic saw the virus rip into vulnerable long-term care homes in Ontario, killing more than 1,500 residents by late May. Though outbreaks in homes quieted in the summer months, Stall says the case numbers he's been seeing this past month remind him of that terrifying period in the spring. "We're seeing the curve take off when it comes to resident cases … adding two, three homes a day," he said, explaining that as the novel coronavirus spreads more widely in the larger community, it inevitably makes its way into the long-term-care residences as well.  The latest numbers from the province show current outbreaks in 22 residences and 54 active cases among residents. "We seem to have forgotten about the sector yet again," said Stall. "We are seeing early warning signs now." Staffing issues persist, association says While some lessons from the first wave will carry over — including the importance of access to personal protective equipment and a better understanding of transmission — Stall says staffing ratios remain "woefully inadequate." Donna Duncan, the CEO of the Ontario Long-term Care Association, agrees. The association has been calling for work to begin on a "Wave 2 Action Plan" since late July, putting out a list of demands for the province, including continuing "staffing flexibility" and the hiring of "an army of Infection Prevention and Control Specialists." "We've got to make sure it never happens again," said Duncan in a CBC Ottawa interview this week, referring to the outbreaks in the spring. "We need to make sure we're prepared to put the same amount of energy and partnerships and resources." To address that in the first wave, personnel from other areas — including hospitals, the education sector and even the Canadian Armed Forces — were redeployed to the hardest hit homes to pitch in. This time around, "nursing homes in Ontario have been told that hospitals may not be available to assist them in the same way as the spring," said Stall, who tweeted out a letter from Long-term Care Deputy Minister Richard Steele warning that hospital resources would be "more scarce." Stall says the best way to address chronic understaffing is to accelerate the training of personal support workers and improve the conditions for current staff, including by offering full-time, stable jobs, career-growth prospects, and sick pay. "Homes are understaffed, a lot of the pandemic pay they received before has dried up, and funding is being spent in a lot of other places," he said. 'She won't survive' For the families and loved ones of long-term care residents, the prospect of a return to anything like what Ontario experienced in the spring is horrifying. Susan Mills, whose mother Barbara is a resident of The Grove in Arnprior, Ont., says she's afraid of what the fall could bring. "I've seen the decline of six months. I went down every day at the window, so I watched her decline," said Mills, who is her mother's caregiver and often visits to help her eat. "If there is another lockout, she won't survive. She has deteriorated considerably." Melissa Acheson's partner, Shawn Hill, contracted COVID-19 while living at Ottawa's West End Villa home. Forty-seven residents there have tested positive so far, according to the home's operator, Extendicare. 'It kind of got to this point where I felt like the virus is on its way out, things are reopening, kids are going back to school, everything is going to be okay," Acheson told CBC Ottawa. "But as soon as we let our guards down ... it's just back with a vengeance. So yeah, I would say it's pretty scary to think about."Province says it will apply lessons from 1st waveIn a response to CBC Toronto, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Long-term Care wrote that there will still be ways for hospitals and their staff to support the homes. Hospitals will share expertise on infection prevention and control, the statement reads, and health professionals from hospitals can be deployed to homes seeing "critical staffing shortages."The spokesperson also said that the province is committed to applying lessons learned in the first wave of the pandemic, and that testing of staff and symptomatic residents will continue. "To shore up our staffing supply, we have taken significant action to increase flexibility and funding, including issuing emergency orders, introducing amended regulations, and committing $243 million in emergency funding for staffing, supplies, and capacity."

Fort Resolution woman competing in Miss Canada Globe

Fort Resolution woman competing in Miss Canada GlobeChaslyn McKay grew up watching Miss Universe competitions but she never thought she might some day compete in a pageant.That changed this week after the 18-year-old Dene and Cree woman from Fort Resolution, N.W.T., flew to Toronto with her mother to compete in the Miss Canada Globe 2020 crown."I'm excited, really excited. I'm nervous too but it's a good nervous," McKay said Wednesday.The contestants will be going through different training sessions and rehearsals leading up to the competition on Sept. 26.McKay said she wanted to compete to prove to herself and her community that she could do it."It means a lot to me that I do this and then other young women see me doing it, they think they can do it for themselves too," she said.McKay said what inspired her to participate in the pageant was the fundraising work that comes with it.> I'm working. I'm fundraising. It's not just about being judged about how you look. - Chaslyn McKayShe said participants act as a voice for different charities. McKay is passionate about the environment so she raised money for Yellowknife-based Ecology North. Her profile on the Miss Canada Globe website said she's hoping to study marine sciences after high school.She said that while she's concerned that pageant culture seems to emphasize external appearances, she's not approaching the competition with that foremost on her mind."The way I see it, I'm working. I'm fundraising. It's not just about being judged about how you look," she said.She's looking forward to the whole experience, including the events that will include fitness, dancing and karaoke, the training in hair and makeup, confidence, walk and pose, and interviewing.As she participates, McKay said she'll be wearing some fashion items from northern designers.Her mother, Rosy Bjornson, said she was baffled when her daughter first approached her about the pageant and asked for her help in fundraising."I'm not into fashion and hair and makeup, but I am a professional co-ordinator. So what I've done is I've taken my skills and I assisted her," she said. Bjornson said she's excited to spend time with her daughter this week in Toronto and "see her blossom and learn all these new skills and having the adventure."Bjornson thinks the trip to the pageant and all the preparation that went into it will help Chaslyn understand that her parents are there for her."No matter what she decides to do in her life, whether it's the pageant or whether it's her research and science field work that she likes to do with different organizations, we support her, 100 per cent," said her mother. "And then in the future, you know, 20 years from now, she'll be able to help her kids do whatever they want to do. And she'll remember the effort that I put into it."

Province ropes off sea caves in St. Martins after rock fall

Province ropes off sea caves in St. Martins after rock fallThe province is warning people to stay away from the sea caves at St. Martins because of a large rock that fell from the cliffs there. The caves and the rock face around them are now blocked off with caution tape. "With the coastal and the climate change, all this is erosion," said Allen Bard, director of parks and attractions for the province."There's a high tide that goes into the cave every day, twice a day, and we realized anything that's coastal right now is eating away.""So these types of things are going to happen, not only in that area, but also around all the province." A rock, about a metre wide and half a metre long, fell from the cliffs two weeks ago. A witness told someone with the village of St. Martins, who told the province.Caution tape was put up, then provincial experts from Hopewell Rocks came to assess the situation and provided the cable and signs for the area.Safety firstBard told Information Morning Saint John the province is responsible for safety there, and it will assess the situation and decide if and when people can return to the sea caves. "We realize that is a beautiful sight and people love to go to the caves but our primary focus is to ensure the safety of the public," said Bard. "As we move forward with this, if we decide to open up the caves based on the rock situation, we will do that but again we want to assess the situation for the safety of the public before we move forward."Bard said this situation is different from the Hopewell Rocks, where visitors are allowed to be around the rock formations despite the risks of falling rocks. Bard said Hopewell Rocks has staff there, and the sea caves in St. Martins do not. He wouldn't say when a decision would be made on the reopening of the caves."Right now we're just assessing. We're hoping to have something fairly quick but no time frame," said Bard.

Saturday 19th of September 2020 11:11:55


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