April 27 COVID-19 update: Weekend numbers, QCH patients moving to hotel, paramedics testing at LTC centres, and 10,000 apply for business help

Special to WC Online

OTTAWA – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reporting seven deaths related to COVID-19 and 44 more lab-confirmed cases of the virus in the city coming out of the weekend.

As of today (April 27) Ottawa’s overall totals of 1,154 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and 59 deaths. More than 500 local cases (43 per cent) have been resolved, according to OPH.

As of Monday afternoon, there were 34 patients in hospital with coronavirus – seven in intensive care.

OPH is reporting four deaths at Carlingview Manor, but it was confirmed over the weekend by the long-term care home there have been 11 deaths at the facility.

Madonna Care Community and Montfort Long-Term Care Centre have been two of the other hardest hit homes with 15 and 11 deaths.

There are 22 institutional outbreaks in the city. Click here for a full breakdown of the numbers from OPH.

The most common reported exposure for cases include: 59 per cent with close contact with a case only; 16 per cent with no travel and no known contact with a case; 11 per cent with travel only; and eight per cent with exposure information pending.

The number of cases reported in Ontario as of Sunday is 437, bringing the province’s total to 14,432, a 3.1 per cent growth rate compared to Friday — the lowest gain of that measure in weeks.

Renfrew County sees rare new case

RENFREW COUNTY – On Sunday (April 26), the Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) confirmed a new case of COVID-19.

The previous reported case was over the Easter long weekend.

There have been 15 cases in the area, 10 of which are considered resolved with one death reported.

The health unit says that 1,413 tests have been completed with 86 results pending. There have been 1,312 tests have been confirmed negative.

Funding for farmers’ markets looking to bring business online

ONTARIO – The federal and provincial governments are investing up to $2.5 million to help the agri-food sector expand online, providing more opportunities for producers to grow their business and offer more food choices for families who are shopping from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The funding is being provided through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The Agri-Food Open for E-Business initiative will help food producers, farmers markets, retailers, garden centres, greenhouses, nurseries, and agricultural associations develop online business, providing consumers with greater access to a wide variety of food and agriculture products.

This targeted application intake features two funding streams:

  • Bring Your Business Online. Eligible organizations and businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000 to establish an online e-business and marketing presence. Funding under this stream will be quick and responsive for those needing immediate solutions.
  • Develop Online Business Opportunities. Eligible organizations, businesses and collaborations can apply for cost-share funding of up to $75,000 to implement high-impact projects.

Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau says this investment will provide support as businesses quickly adapt to new and different ways of providing affordable and nutritious food to Canadians

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and expedite the approval process to help businesses and organizations develop, expand and enhance their current online presence.

More details can be found online here.

Queensway Carleton Hospital moves patients to Kanata hotel

KANATA – Sixteen Queensway Carleton Hospital patients will be transferred to a Kanata hotel for continued care.

The Queensway Carleton Hospital is ready to move 16 alternate level of care (ALC) patients from its facility to a dedicated floor at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kanata.

The move, which will happen tomorrow (April 28), was announced on April 18 as the next step in the hospital’s COVID-19 response and part of the region’s broader planning and response strategy.  

The hospital says 32 rooms at the Fairfield Inn have been retrofitted to meet the care needs of low-acuity, low-risk ALC patients and will be staffed 24 hours a day by Queensway Carleton Hospital staff. 

Queensway Carleton Hospital’s visitation policy will continue at the hotel and all staff will continue to self-screen upon entry to the hotel. Staff assigned to the new location will not work at another location.

The hospital explains Monday that its decision to move the patients from the Queensway Carleton Hospital was made with careful consideration, focused on those patients whose acute care needs have been met and who can be safely cared for in an alternate environment.

“Queensway Carleton remains committed to providing the best care for our patients while keeping them safe from COVID-19. The new location will ensure that our patients continue to receive the quality care from our great staff while in a safe environment. It also frees up more beds in the hospital for those in need of acute care.” Dr. Andrew Falconer said.

“The hospital would like to extend its deepest appreciation the owners and management at the Fairfield Inn & Suites who have been incredible partners in this project,” added Dr. Falconer.

Ottawa bylaw to answer online questions

OTTAWA – Ottawa Bylaw is looking to game sure you know the rules and why they are there by answering questions online.

The City of Ottawa says it’s looking for your queries, as bylaw officers answer some of residents’ most frequently asked questions in a series of videos to be posted online.

The city encouraged residents to submit questions online about COVID-19 pandemic and city bylaws last Friday (April 24).

One of the first questions asked, “can we go to an empty parking lot and play catch with members from our household?” While walking through parks is allowed, another resident wanted to know if she could take a break and sit on a bench, as she tires easily.

The city says it will post answers to residents’ questions online, this week.

Paramedics testing long-term care residents for COVID-19

OTTAWA – The Ottawa Paramedic Service is bringing COVID-19 testing to long-term care facility residents.

A team of 26 paramedic, started planning the initiative Friday (April 24) evening and by Saturday were already visiting homes and testing people, starting with Carlingview Manor on Carling Avenue and Laurier Manor on Montreal Road, according to Shannon Leduc, commander of clinical programs at the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

“The province has issued a directive to have all patients and staff members receive COVID swabs in long-term care centres so we’ve been working with the Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa Public Health to partner to be able to do that (Saturday),” Leduc released in a statement.

Also part of the team are 12 respiratory therapists from the Ottawa Hospital and public health employees who are responsible for documentation. The project will continue throughout the week and visit all of the long-term care homes in the city.

“We’re trying to get through (the homes) with the most challenges as soon as possible, hopefully by the end of the weekend,”Leduc said.

On day one, Leduc says everyone’s spirits were up and happy to help.

“People are really collaborating well,” she said. “Paramedics are good. They’re happy to be helping. This is right up their alley.”

The team has 20 long-term care homes to get through. 

“We know that patients residing in long-term care centres are some of the most vulnerable in the population, “she said. “They’re older, The also tend to have a lot more comorbidities— you have a lot more patients that live with more illnesses, so it’s important that we’re able to provide those services to them…Being able to do all of this swabbing is just helping us to more rapidly provide this surveillance data to the province that the province and public health officials and infection control professionals need so that they can put measures in place to mitigate the impact of COVID in these long-term care facilities.”

As of Sunday, Ontario has 14,442 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 835 total deaths related to the virus.

Nearly 10,000 businesses apply for help in first hour

CANADA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says nearly 10,000 businesses have applied for the federal government’s wage-subsidy program in the first hour it was available.

The emergency measure will cover 75 per cent of wages for employers that have seen sharp declines in revenue since the novel coronavirus hit Canada hard in March, up to $847 per worker.

Applications opened early this morning and payments can be retroactive to the middle of March. Trudeau says money under the program will start flowing by May 7.

It may take longer for the money to arrive for companies that aren’t signed up for direct deposit with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Survey results released this morning by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which represents thousands of small businesses in the country, suggests that half will apply for the wage subsidy.

In a release, the CFIB says many companies still have questions about what wages can be covered, who is eligible and how to bring back laid-off employees before receiving the subsidy payments.

Officials have been unable to say how many workers currently receiving the Canada Emergency Response Benefit may be rehired through the wage subsidy, but Trudeau is reminding workers they can’t receive financial help from both programs at the same time.

What that means if that some people may have to pay back whatever they received through the $2,000-a-month CERB if the wage subsidy covers the same time period.

So far, the CERB has paid out $24.25 billion in payments to 7.28 million unique applicants for the program, based on the latest figures posted this morning by the federal government.

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