A total of 61 COVID-19 cases linked to Kingston construction site outbreak

KFL&A Public Health says a COVID-19 outbreak at a Kingston construction site has now spread to a total of 61 people.

The health unit said 39 workers caught the virus directly from the site outbreak, and 22 of their close contacts have now also tested positive. One person has since recovered, bringing active cases related to the outbreak down to 60.

Read more:
Major COVID-19 outbreak linked to Kingston construction site, 32 cases associated

In a call with media Thursday, Dr. Kieran Moore said that vaccination bookings opened early, starting Thursday morning, for local construction workers due to the outbreak, allowing for these essential workers to book sooner than in the rest of the province, a date that was originally scheduled for next week.

Still, Moore said vaccine uptake for male construction workers has traditionally been low, so he does not expect the added bookings to greatly affect other populations eligible for vaccinations.

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“All the more reason that we’ll have to be making the vaccine accessible and available in multiple different formats for workers no matter what work environment it is,” he said.

The region’s top doc admitted that the health unit got to the outbreak a bit late, and may have missed the opportunity to control it. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit said Wednesday it was informed that transmission began April 26. The outbreak was not declared until May 2, and by that time, associated cases had already jumped to more than 30.

Read more:
LGL health unit asks construction workers to get tested after Kingston COVID-19 outbreak

The health unit said of the 61 total cases linked to the outbreak, only eight are from out-of-region. The construction site was host to more than 900 workers over the last several weeks, many of whom came from outside of KFL&A — mostly from the Leeds, Grenville, Lanark region, York or Ottawa. Still, so far, the majority of the outbreak’s positive cases have come from the local population.

“I do anticipate that we’ll have people hospitalized as a result of this event in our community and our hospital partners are aware,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Kingston construction site closed for 14 days following COVID-19 outbreak'

Kingston construction site closed for 14 days following COVID-19 outbreak

Kingston construction site closed for 14 days following COVID-19 outbreak

Moore said he was surprised by the level of transmission from the site, since from his perspective, the company was following best practices.

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This was echoed by the Ministry of Labour, who investigated the outbreak and declared there were no contraventions of public health guidelines, and therefore the matter was closed.

Moore said it’s still unclear how the virus spread so rapidly among staff on site.

“My hunch is that during coffee breaks where you take your mask off, that that’s where the virus spreads. So you can have all the best practices, but there are vulnerable times, such as picking up someone to drive in to work,” he said.

Read more:
Construction workers fired after video surfaces showing party at Milton site

Moore added that local transmission is not only outbreak-related, but is also occurring across the community. The region currently has 128 active cases of the virus.

We’re seeing cases in Odessa, Sydenham, Kingston Amherstview, Elginburg, Sydenham again, Odessa, Nappanee, Nappanee, Battersea, Hartington, Perth Road, Godfrey. This virus is everywhere in our community and wants to spread,” he said while surveying the list of active cases in the community.

Other than the outbreak, the health unit is seeing transmission through small social gatherings and travel.

“We’ve had transmission at bonfires outdoors as people were within two meters and someone had to have coughed or sneezed,” he said.

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He also noted that several people have travelled recently and brought the virus back to the community, including snowbirds returning from the United States, and even some construction workers from Alberta who tested positive before ever stepping foot on a Kingston site.

Click to play video: 'Some provinces ramp up plans after Canada approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids ages 12 and up'

Some provinces ramp up plans after Canada approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids ages 12 and up

Some provinces ramp up plans after Canada approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for kids ages 12 and up

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

Man charged after police say vehicle in fatal September crash had maintenance issue

Nottawasaga OPP say a fatal September crash was the result of a mechanical defect and have charged the man responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance with criminal negligence causing death.

Denis Garant, 53, from North York, Ont., died from his injuries on Sept. 22, 2020, when the vehicle he was driving on Adjala-Tosorontio/New Tecumseth Townline Road, between the 2nd and 3rd concessions, lost control, went into a ditch and hit a tree, police say.

Read more:
One dead following crash involving vehicle, 2 motorcycles in New Tecumseth, Ont.

Garant was the only person in the vehicle.

According to police, the vehicle had a mechanical defect.

On Tuesday, police arrested and charged Milton Giovanni Urgiles, 44, from Toronto, with causing death by criminal negligence.

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According to officers, Urgiles was responsible for maintaining the vehicle involved in the single-vehicle crash.

He was released with a June court date.

Click to play video: '1 woman taken to hospital following 2-vehicle crash in Peterborough'

1 woman taken to hospital following 2-vehicle crash in Peterborough

1 woman taken to hospital following 2-vehicle crash in Peterborough

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

2 COVID-19 outbreaks declared at Guelph General Hospital

Guelph General Hospital says COVID-19 outbreaks are being declared on its 4 East and 7 East units.

The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon after four patients and one staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Read more:
Moderna says COVID-19 booster shot increases protection against some variants

“For the patients who tested positive, we wish them a speedy recovery,” said Marianne Walker, hospital president and CEO.

“Our ongoing priority is to ensure the safety of patients and staff who have worked diligently to limit the spread of COVID-19 during this challenging time of a third wave. We are greatly concerned about the surge of COVID-19 variants and ask everyone to do their part to reduce community spread.”

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The hospital said enhanced measures have been put into place including closing 4 East and 7 East to new admissions except for COVID-19 patients.

All patients and staff in the units are being tested for the virus and droplet precautions are in effect for all patients in both units, the hospital said.

Click to play video: 'The delicate task of transferring ICU patients to other hospitals'

The delicate task of transferring ICU patients to other hospitals

The delicate task of transferring ICU patients to other hospitals – Apr 23, 2021

Officials said people should not feel the need to call the hospital, but anyone with concerns can contact 519-837-6440 ext. 2815.

Read more:
Canada ‘very closely’ watching data on mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines

The hospital has dealt with COVID-19 outbreaks in the past, most recently in February when three patients and one staff member tested positive.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health doesn’t provide specific numbers for each hospital but currently, there are 34 hospitalizations in the region including 15 in intensive care.

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

Woman dead after fatal collision in Brampton

Peel Regional Police say a woman has died following a crash in Brampton on Thursday.

Emergency crews were called to Winston Churchill Boulevard north of Steeles Avenue West at around 12:16 a.m.

Police said two vehicles were involved and a woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Winston Churchill Boulevard was closed in both directions between Steeles Avenue West and Embleton Road.

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

Washington faces Toronto after Beal’s 42-point performance

Washington Wizards (30-36, 10th in the Eastern Conference) vs. Toronto Raptors (27-39, 11th in the Eastern Conference)

Tampa; Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: Washington visits the Toronto Raptors after Bradley Beal scored 42 points in the Wizards’ 135-134 loss to the Bucks.

The Raptors have gone 17-22 against Eastern Conference teams. Toronto is 17-5 when winning the rebound battle and averages 41.5 rebounds per game.

The Wizards are 12-24 in Eastern Conference play. Washington ranks fifth in the NBA with 35.3 defensive rebounds per game led by Russell Westbrook averaging 9.6.

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The teams play for the third time this season. The Raptors won the last matchup 103-101 on April 5. Pascal Siakam scored 22 points to help lead Toronto to the victory.

TOP PERFORMERS: Siakam is shooting 45.2% and averaging 21 points. Khem Birch is averaging 8.2 rebounds and 11.1 points per game over the last 10 games for Toronto.

Beal is averaging 31.1 points and 4.7 rebounds for the Wizards. Westbrook is averaging 13.8 assists and 21.8 points over the last 10 games for Washington.

LAST 10 GAMES: Raptors: 5-5, averaging 109.1 points, 41.8 rebounds, 25.6 assists, 8.3 steals and five blocks per game while shooting 45.3% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 108.9 points on 47.3% shooting.

Wizards: 7-3, averaging 127.8 points, 46.8 rebounds, 28.1 assists, 8.3 steals and 5.3 blocks per game while shooting 50.9% from the field. Their opponents have averaged 118.7 points on 47.2% shooting.

INJURIES: Raptors: Gary Trent Jr.: day to day (leg), Yuta Watanabe: day to day (ankle), Paul Watson: out (knee), Chris Boucher: out (knee), OG Anunoby: day to day (injury management).

Wizards: Chandler Hutchison: day to day (knee), Deni Avdija: out for season (leg), Thomas Bryant: out for season (left knee), Rui Hachimura: out (illness).


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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Winnipeg Jets snap skid, clinch playoff spot after 4-0 win over Flames

Adam Lowry ensured the Winnipeg Jets losing streak was going to end in Calgary. The veteran forward scored a pair of goals to lift his team to a 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

Winnipeg clinches a playoff spot with the win and moves two points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for third place in the North Division.

Blake Wheeler also had two goals for the Jets and collected his 800th career point when he bagged his second in the third period. Mark Scheifele picked up an assist on that goal as he recorded his 500th NHL point.

Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves for the shutout in the Jets’ first victory since April 15, breaking a skid of seven consecutive losses.

Lowry got the Jets rolling early, scoring just over a minute into the game on Winnipeg’s first shot on goal. The centreman carried the puck over the blue line and looked off a pass to Mason Appleton before beating Calgary goalie Jacob Markstrom on the glove side with a shot.

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The goal came in a period where the shot count stayed low despite the Jets’ attempts to increase their lead. Winnipeg outshot Calgary 7-6 in the frame with the Flames skaters registering seven blocked shots. Calgary didn’t have a shot on goal until the halfway mark of the period.

The second period started just like the first, with a goal from Jets centre Lowry, once again on the team’s first shot of the period.

This time, the Jets were killing a penalty when Andrew Copp broke up the Flames’ zone entry, Dylan DeMelo flipped the puck to Lowry, who looked more like an elite scorer than a penalty killer as he deked out Markstrom and slid the puck between the Calgary goalie’s legs for his second of the night.

READ MORE: Hextall on Hockey – How do Jets get out of their rut?

Winnipeg wasn’t done there as Wheeler added a goal late in the second to give the Jets a 3-0 lead. When the Flames failed to keep a bouncing puck in the Jets zone, the captain jumped on the opportunity and outskated the Calgary defensemen for the breakaway, beating Markstrom on the backhand.

Wheeler would add to his total as the Jets opened the third period with yet another early goal. On a Winnipeg powerplay, Mark Scheifele found Wheeler alone in front of the net and he calmly transferred the puck to his backhand and beat Markstrom to give the Jets a four-goal lead.

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The Jets would cruise from there, killing off a Josh Morrissey double minor at the midway point of the third to preserve the win and the shutout for their goaltender.

While his team gave him a nice cushion to work with, Connor Hellebuyck still had to come up big when called upon. He robbed Elias Lindholm with his glove in the first period and made another tough stop on Andrew Mangiapane in the third. After being outshot in the first, Calgary went on to outshoot Winnipeg 9-5 in the second period and 16-7 in the third.

Markstrom made 15 saves on 19 Jets shots in a losing effort while Flames star Johnny Gaudreau saw his seven-game point streak come to an end.

The win rounds out Winnipeg’s final road trip as they went 17-10-1 away from home in the 2021 season. They start a four-game homestand to wrap up the regular season on Saturday night against Ottawa. You can listen to the game live on 680 CJOB with Kelly Moore, Paul Edmonds, and Jamie Thomas with the pregame show starting at 4 p.m. and puck drop just after 6 p.m.





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

Six charged for impaired driving in Norway House in four days

Manitoba RCMP were kept busy after yet another drunk-driving spree in the province.

Six drivers in Northern Manitoba face impaired driving charges after Norway House RCMP arrested them all in a span of four days.

Just after 1 a.m. on April 30, officers saw a pickup truck nearly collide with a First Nation Safety Officer’s vehicle on Provincial Road 373. A 45-year-old man was pulled over and provided breath samples more than twice above the legal limit.

Later that afternoon, a 19-year-old woman was also arrested after driving erratically and also giving a breath sample more than double the legal limit.

Read more:
2021 impaired-driving numbers keep rising in Manitoba, RCMP say

On May 2, two more people were arrested, a 33-year-old man on an ATV and a 34-year old man.

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And then on May 3, a 42-year-old man and 38-year-old man were both arrested. The 38-year-old provided breath samples three times over the legal limit while the 42-year-old was also found breaching a conditional sentence order.

Five of the drivers received a 90-day licence suspension and had their vehicles seized and impounded.

This comes after three impaired drivers were nabbed in less than 12 hours in Thompson on May 1 and another three drivers were arrested in Manitoba’s Interlake region in less than eight hours on April 23.

As of May 3, RCMP said there had been 275 cases of impaired driving this year.

Click to play video: 'RCMP continue to nab impaired drivers'

RCMP continue to nab impaired drivers

RCMP continue to nab impaired drivers

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

MS Awareness Month: PoNS therapy helps GTA man fight against disease

May marks Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. In light of the annual campaign, an Etobicoke, Ont., man is sharing his story of how he’s been able to manage his condition and take back control of his life.

Peter Nawalaneic says he felt off one day in 2013 while going to pick up his wife.

“I got out of the car, I started swaying around and I thought, ‘Wow, this isn’t good. If a cop sees me he’s going to think I’m drunk.’”

Nawalaneic was eventually diagnosed with MS in 2014 at the age of 60, something his doctor said was uncommon.

“I was devastated,” he said.

“I thought, ‘What’s going to become of me?’ I thought my lifespan had just been shortened immensely.”

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Read more:
PoNS therapy helps Ontario woman recover from brain injury

After years of trying treatments he describes as ineffective, the Etobicoke man then stumbled across a therapy called PoNS while watching a television advertisement. With nothing to lose, he decided to give it a try. He visited Propel Physiotherapy, which has offices in Etobicoke and Pickering, twice a day, five times a week for 14 weeks.

“It was a mood changer, that was probably the biggest effect of it. That, plus having more stamina,” he said.

“As I got into it I started to feel better about myself.”

The program involves PoNS technology paired with intensive physiotherapy. The device works by priming the nervous system for learning, potentially allowing for restoration of lost function, which in MS patients can result in improved walking and mobility.

“We’ve had four clients complete the program, four of them with MS. They’ve all made significant improvements in their walking speed and quality,” said Propel Physiotherapy’s executive director Kyle Whaley.

Canada leads the way in MS-related research

“The device’s stimulation coupled with this really intense program of movement, balance, specific exercises as well as a breathing awareness and mindfulness has shown to improve people’s walking and balance.”

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Whaley says although the program has been helping those living with MS for over a decade, it remains pricey, with a cost of roughly $11,000 for combined technology and physiotherapy.

The MS Society of Canada says they have been continuously advocating to make the treatment more accessible for people of all income levels.

“If (people) have private insurance they might have coverage, but we’re advocating to the federal and provincial governments all the time that very Canadian should have accessibility to all the various treatments,” said president and CEO Pam Valentine.

Valentine says due to the pandemic and subsequent cancellations of the organization’s annual community walk and bike fundraisers, there have been negative implications on its work towards helping those with the disease.

Read more:
Multiple sclerosis in Canada: Understanding why MS rates are the highest here

“We’ve had a huge drop in revenue in the course of the pandemic,” she said.

“(The fundraisers) pay for the programs we deliver in the community. They pay for the support systems that we have, including programs that might provide somebody with a piece of equipment. They pay for the massive number of research investments we make on an annual basis.”

With community events cancelled due to the pandemic, the organization is currently encouraging people to safely walk for MS on their own during the month of May.

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Valentine says there are currently 90,000 people across Canada living with the disease.

Military police removed from Canadian embassy nearly a year after last ‘Havana syndrome’ case

Global Affairs Canada removed the lone military police officer stationed on security duty at the Canadian embassy in Havana, Cuba, nearly one year after what officials have said was the last confirmed Canadian case of what’s become known as “Havana syndrome.”

The 2019-2020 Canadian Forces Provost Marshal report on Canadian military police deployed as security at embassies around the world listed the Canadian embassy in Havana as one of those sites.

That report covered the period from April 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020.

But a spokesperson for the Provost Marshal told Global News the one military police officer who had been stationed at the embassy was removed by Global Affairs Canada on Oct. 1, 2019.

That’s nearly one year after Global Affairs Canada has said the last confirmed case of a Canadian reporting symptoms of Havana syndrome took place in December 2018, but officials would not say why the military police officer stationed in Havana was removed.

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However, confirmation of the removal comes after Global News reported that a letter sent on behalf of nine Canadian diplomats and their families last month to Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said there were “at least three” additional cases in 2019 and 2020.

Global News has also previously reported that three more individuals are joining the $28-million lawsuit launched by Canadian diplomats and their families over lasting neurological symptoms alleged to have been sustained while serving in Havana, and which they say continue years later.

READ MORE: Canadian officials not disclosing ‘at least 3’ new Havana syndrome cases: letter

“As GAC no longer discloses new cases,” the April letter said, “it is impossible to know how many people have come out of Cuba with brain injuries.”

Global Affairs Canada has repeatedly refused to answer specific and detailed questions about the government’s handling of the matter, particularly as officials south of the border increasingly cite the situation as a priority amid concerns about a continuing threat to diplomats abroad.

CNN reported last week that the Pentagon and other U.S. federal agencies are investigating at least two possible cases on American soil that appear to bear similarities to the symptoms seen in dozens of American diplomats who served in Cuba in 2016 and 2017.

According to that report, one National Security Council official became sick after an incident near the south lawn of the White House in November 2019, while a White House official said she had a similar experience while walking her dog in a suburb of nearby Virginia.

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The CNN report cited “multiple current and former U.S. officials and sources familiar with the matter.”

READ MORE: Canadian officials warned staff bound for Cuba to stay silent on ‘Havana syndrome’

Members of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees were briefed by defence officials on the incidents, the report said, suggesting those officials told committee members that while the actor behind the suspected attacks was not confirmed, it was likely Russia or China could be involved.

Global Affairs Canada says the embassy in Havana remains an “unaccompanied” posting.

That means individuals posted there cannot bring their family with them.

READ MORE: Havana syndrome caused by ‘targeted action,’ U.S. State Department says in report

Canadian officials have not answered repeated questions about why the embassy remains an unaccompanied posting if there have been no new cases since December 2018.

A U.S. State Department internal review into the symptoms experienced by American diplomats deemed them the result of “targeted” actions by an unknown actor.

The review also noted that although “the mechanism of injury, the perpetrator and the motive remain unknown,” the risks to diplomats abroad are not over.

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

Health officials close Whistle Stop Café after Alberta restaurant ignores COVID-19 rules for months

Alberta Health Services has closed a café in Mirror, Alta., that repeatedly broke COVID-19 health restrictions by staying open and serving customers.

On Wednesday, AHS officials, as well as RCMP, physically closed the Whistle Stop Café and prevented access to the building.

AHS said in a news release that there had been 413 public complaints about the business since Jan. 1, 2021.

Ahead of the forced closure, AHS said it had “attempted to work with the operator of the Whistle Stop Café to address the ongoing public health concerns at the site.”

The café has flouted restrictions for months. It opened for dine-in service in January when its owner told Global News it was serving around 250 people each day. At that time, restaurants were not permitted to allow in-person dining due to Alberta public health orders.

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While in-person dining was once again permitted on Feb. 8 in Step 1 of the province’s reopening plan, as cases surged through the third wave of COVID-19, Alberta ordered in-person dining closed again on April 9. Again, the Whistle Stop Café stayed open, AHS said.

Read more:
COVID-19: Rural Alberta restaurant defies public health orders

The health agency said that the May 5 shut down was necessary after a series of other measures meant to work with the business failed:

  • a closure order issued Jan. 22
  • a court order on Feb. 3 to comply with the initial closure order
  • another closure order and a suspension of its food handling permit on April 12
  • an additional closure order on April 15
  • an “indefinite” cancelling of the operator’s food handling permit on April 16

Click to play video: 'Central Alberta restaurants stay open in defiance of new health rules'

Central Alberta restaurants stay open in defiance of new health rules

Central Alberta restaurants stay open in defiance of new health rules – Apr 9, 2021

A lengthy video uploaded to the Whistle Stop Café Facebook page on Wednesday showed RCMP and health officials shuttering the business.

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AHS added that the RCMP, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, and Occupational Health and Safety have all attempted to enforce Alberta’s COVID-19 restrictions through the process.

“Every effort has been made to work collaboratively with the operator as well as the property owner to come to a resolution before progressing to further enforcement action,” Alberta Health Services said.

“At this time the operator of the Whistle Stop Cafe has decided not to follow these mandatory restrictions, despite efforts by AHS and other partners, nor have they attempted to work to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

“With COVID-19 cases increasing, including the more easily transmitted and potentially more severe variants, there is urgent need to minimize spread to protect all Albertans.”

Mirror, Alta., is located about 65 kilometres east of Red Deer.

Click to play video: 'Too much or too little? Premier Jason Kenney faces political pressure from all sides with new COVID-19 restrictions'

Too much or too little? Premier Jason Kenney faces political pressure from all sides with new COVID-19 restrictions

Too much or too little? Premier Jason Kenney faces political pressure from all sides with new COVID-19 restrictions

Read more:
Schools go online as Alberta adds more COVID-19 restrictions for 3 weeks

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced sweeping new restrictions Tuesday as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in the province, including moving all students to online learning, the closure of patio dining, and further limiting the size of outdoor gatherings.

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