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Ford addresses ‘disturbing’ anti-maskers at his home; Alberta sees lack of cooperation with contact tracers

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Justin Trudeau announced that Canada has secured 28.4 million rapid COVID-19 tests, which can deliver results in less than 20 minutes.

The chief medical officer of health, Dr. Theresa Tam, said the tests will be deployed possibly by the end of the week or early next week to provinces and territories.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford asked people to support take-out initiatives at restaurants in the province’s three hotspots where new restrictions are in place. In addition, he pleaded with Uber Eats to reduce the commission rates it’s charging, in order to help restaurants amid the pandemic.

To finish his press conference, Ford called out those who are spreading disinformation about COVID-19, especially the “anti-maskers” who have been showing up at his house.

As COVID-19 continues to spread nationwide, Quebec announced more restrictions for three regions, Saskatchewan limited gathering sizes at households, and British Columbia health officials pleaded with citizens to get their flu shot amid influenza season. In Alberta, health officials said they’re seeing an increasing number of people who are refusing to share information with contact tracers.

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

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‘There’s no hidden agenda’: Doug Ford shares frustration over those discrediting the COVID-19 pandemic

As the second wave of COVID-19 makes its mark on Ontario, Premier Doug Ford addressed those who are trying to discredit the reality of the virus, such as by calling it fake. 

“There’s no hidden agenda … it’s sheer facts,” said Ford. “What I get from the chief medical officer, I will put it right on the table good, bad or ugly. …

“I’m going to repeat this again, there is no agenda. I’m the last guy in the world that would put up with that. I just, it just wouldn’t happen under my watch. I’m here to protect the people of Ontario, keep them safe.”

Ford credits the media, who he called “phenomenal,” for helping deliver the government’s message on protocols throughout the pandemic. 

It’s a contrast compared to what the premier describes has been occurring in front of his home. 

“We have the anti-maskers showing up to my house again,” said Ford.

“You know, flying the flag upside down. That’s disturbing to say the least. You don’t like our country, want to disrespect the people of this country and the flag; go on, take off, leave, find another place you can fly your flag upside down.”

Ford announcements funding for Ontario businesses impacted by latest restrictions, calls out Uber Eats

Ford announced $300 million to provide relief for local restaurants and other businesses that have been impacted by the province’s latest health measures. 

The news comes after Ford announced on Friday that indoor dining will have to close for restaurants and bars in the province’s three hotspots of Ontario, Peel and Ottawa. These venues will

Borderline personality disorder patient addresses stigma

Sarah Coulthard-Evans was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder 10 years ago. (Supplied: Sarah Coulthard-Evans)
Sarah Coulthard-Evans was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder 10 years ago. (Supplied: Sarah Coulthard-Evans)

A woman with borderline personality disorder (BPD) is keen to dispel the misconception patients are a danger to others.

Sarah Coulthard-Evans, 36, was diagnosed 10 years ago after doctors repeatedly dismissed her symptoms as depression.

Having self-harmed and even attempted suicide several times, Coulthard-Evans was eventually sectioned.

Years of therapy allowed her to “heal massively and make sense of what happened in her life”.

Read more: Self-harm more common among teens who start puberty early

Coulthard-Evans, who lives in Northampton, moved into supported accommodation in the community on 18 March, just five days before lockdown.

Now in a better place, Coulthard-Evans manages her disorder with medication, monthly calls with a psychiatrist and plenty of sleep.

Coulthard-Evans hopes to raise awareness of BPD, stressing patients are “more dangerous to themselves than anyone else”.

Coulthard-Evans' symptoms led to her initially being told she had depression. (Supplied: Sarah Coulthard-Evans)
Coulthard-Evans’ symptoms led to her initially being told she had depression. (Supplied: Sarah Coulthard-Evans)

Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders – a partnership between the University of Wollongong in Australia, the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry for Health and Local NSW Health Districts – has also produced work to dispel the “myth” BPD patients are dangerous.

“It is much more likely a person living with BPD will harm themselves, rather than harming someone else,” according to the strategy.

Coulthard-Evans struggled with low self-worth from an early age.

“My main problems were a very poor view of myself, instability – I struggled with relationships of any form, always really wanting to please but never feeling satisfied,” she told Yahoo UK.

“I self-harmed from a young age because of the pressure I put on myself.”

Parental neglect or abuse during childhood is a recognised cause of BPD.

“I experienced sexual abuse from a family member,” said Coulthard-Evans.

“It was a trusted relationship so straight away that messes you up.

“I was also not believed; I took that really hard.”

Read more: Two in five psychiatric ward patients had coronavirus at outbreak height

BPD can cause similar symptoms to depression, including prolonged low mood, self-harm and even suicidal thoughts in severe cases.

This led Coulthard-Evans’ GP to prescribe her antidepressants in her early twenties, which were ineffective at the time.

Several suicide attempts led to her being sectioned.

“I ended up in secure services, where there’s a lot more assessments done than in the community, where everything was with my GP,” said Coulthard-Evans.

These assessments resulted in her being diagnosed with BPD in 2010.

Watch: What is borderline personality disorder?

Coulthard-Evans spent four years at Rampton Hospital in Nottinghamshire, one of three high security hospitals in England and Wales.

“I had significant trauma therapy and intense CBT [cognitive behavioural therapy],” she said.

“Once my self-harm was under control, I could start tough trauma therapy, which allowed me to heal massively and make sense of what happened in my life.”

Coulthard-Evans was then transferred to a medium security unit via the charity St Andrew’s Healthcare, where

Health Insurance Start-Up Addresses ‘Health Insurance Deserts’

New Partnership Allows Decent to Offer Health Plans to Small Businesses, Self-Employed in Texas’ Rural Communities

Decent's virtual health plans can make accessing a doctor easier, especially in areas facing a primary care shortage.
Decent’s virtual health plans can make accessing a doctor easier, especially in areas facing a primary care shortage.
Decent’s virtual health plans can make accessing a doctor easier, especially in areas facing a primary care shortage.

Austin, Texas, Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Decent, an Austin, Texas-based startup disrupting the health insurance industry through a partnership with the Texas Freelance Association, will soon offer health plans in small and rural towns throughout the state, expanding access to health insurance in regions where there has always been limited availability.

“Most rural Texans live in ‘health insurance deserts’ where there is just one expensive health plan option that costs more than their mortgage. It means many forego coverage altogether,” explained Nick Soman, CEO and co-founder of Decent.

Decent is able to extend its unique health plans to small businesses in rural Texas in addition to major cities such as Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas, under a partnership with AXA, a global leader in insurance, which allows Decent to use its extensive medical network for wraparound coverage for its members and immediate families. In 2018, Decent, with the Texas Freelance Association, launched health plans for self-employed individuals in Austin, Texas and recently announced it would also offer health plans to small businesses.

“Small businesses and entrepreneurs often are presented with two inadequate choices – health insurance that is expensive or health insurance that is skimpy,” explained Soman. “We started Decent to give groups left out of the current marketplace access to health insurance, which should be available no matter where you live.”

Rethinking Rural Health Insurance

Texas has one of the largest rural populations in the U.S., making up about 10 percent of the state’s total population of 29 million. Health insurance deserts refers to geographic areas where there is only one option for private insurance.

“Most rural Americans work for small businesses, yet many small businesses can’t afford to offer the available healthcare options to their employees. It’s a ‘lose-lose’ for everyone. We’re re-thinking how it can be done and done well,” said Soman.

Decent’s health plans are unique in two major ways, explains Soman. Decent helps small businesses and entrepreneurs band together to take advantage of a business practice called “self-insurance” to “level the playing field” with large employers who have been using self-insurance for years to control and reduce medical costs. Decent can do this by pooling categories of small businesses, such as technology firms and oil and gas companies.

The health insurance startup also prioritizes free primary care to help members access it when they need helpful guidance to avoid unnecessary trips to expensive points of care, such as freestanding emergency rooms (ERs) and hospital ERs. Small businesses in rural Texas will have access to Decent’s “virtual health plan,” the first of its kind in the U.S., which offers members a dedicated U.S.-based primary care physician anytime and anywhere via