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Soaring virus infection puts more French cities on alert

PARIS (AP) — Four French cities have joined Paris and Marseille in the maximum alert status to fight the spread of the coronavirus, and it appeared likely that the list would soon grow as infections soar.

Bars shut down and other severe measures are ordered under maximum alert.

Lyon, Grenoble and Saint-Etienne in the southeast and Lille in the north moved to maximum alert on Saturday when health authorities reported nearly 26,900 new daily infections in 24 hours. There were just under 5,000 new hospitalizations over the past week, with 928 of them in ICUs, and the positive rate for the increasing number of COVID-19 tests climbed to 11%. Nearly 32,690 coronavirus deaths have been counted in France, but the actual number is likely higher due to deaths at home and incomplete reporting from hospitals or rest homes.

While France girded itself for a climb in critical numbers, a consultation by the National Order of Nurses published Sunday suggested that a significant number feel tired and fed up, with 37% saying that the coronavirus pandemic is making them want to change jobs.

Nearly 59,400 nurses responded to the Oct. 2-7 internal survey on the impact of the health crisis on their working conditions, out of 350,000 in the Order of Nurses. A spokesman for the order, Adrien de Casabianca, described the survey as a “consultation” without the classic methodology of a poll.

The numbers painted a grim diagnosis of the profession and suggested that French medical facilities may not be keeping pace with the growing need, despite lessons that should have been learned from the height of the virus crisis last spring.

Of nurses in public establishments, 43% feel that “we are not better prepared collectively to respond to a new wave of infections,” according to the survey. The figure rises to 46% for nurses in the private domain. And about two-thirds of respondents say their working conditions have deteriorated since the start of the crisis.

Burnout looms, the survey shows, with 57% of respondents saying they have been professionally exhausted since the start of pandemic, while nearly half saying there’s a strong risk that fatigue will impact the quality of care patients receive.

For 37% of the nurses responding, “the crisis … makes them want to change jobs,” and 43% “don’t know if they will still be nurses in five years,” according to the survey.

The National Order of Nurses notes that 34,000 nurses’ jobs in France are currently vacant.

Nurses and other health professionals in France and elsewhere have sporadically demonstrated for higher salaries, better working conditions and more personnel, even during the pandemic. They were given small salary hikes in France starting this fall.

“Today, nurses must deal with a growth in COVID-19 cases and feel unarmed to do so,” the president of the National Order of Nurses, Patrick Chamboredon, said in a statement accompanying the survey.

With nurses “indispensable” to the functioning of the health system, “we cannot accept that,” he said.

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Kmart, Westfield and Fitness First customers on alert for coronavirus after venues were visited

By Shive Prema For Daily Mail Australia

05:32 07 Oct 2020, updated 05:48 07 Oct 2020

Three new people infected with COVID-19 in Sydney visited Kmart, Westfield and Fitness First, sparking fears they may have spread the disease further. 

NSW Health are currently contracting new cases and issued a public warning on Tuesday, saying people who visited the same locations as the infected people should get tested and isolate. 

One of the infected people attended a pilates class at Fitness First in Carlingford from 8:15 am to 9:15 am on Saturday. 

All those who attended the same class are considered close contacts and must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days from the class.    

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NSW Health is directly contacting those who attended.  

Anyone else who went to Fitness First at the same time but didn’t attend the pilates class are still considered casual contacts and should get tested. 

People who attended six other Sydney venues are also considered casual contacts and should be tested on the advice of NSW Health. 

Another infected person went to Kmart in Narellan in Sydney’s south west from 6pm to 7pm on Friday. 

Three businesses in Penrith in Sydney’s west have also been put on alert. 

Those who attended Penrith Homemaker Centre from 11am to 1pm on Sunday should get tested as well as those who went to Guzman y Gomez between 1:30pm and 2pm.

The final Penrith business is Home Co, where shoppers who attended between 2pm and 2:30pm on Sunday should also be tested. 

An infected person also went to the popular Westfield in Parramatta in Sydney’s west on Monday between 9:30am and 11am. 

The last location on alert is Castle Towers Shopping Centre in the city’s north west, where an infected person was shopping for an hour from 12pm to 1pm on Monday.

The state health department is ‘concerned’ that testing numbers have dropped recently and is encouraging increased testing across Sydney. 

NSW Health said it is ‘especially important for people across West and South West Sydney’ to get tested since the new cases are located there.  


Friday 2 October: Kmart, Narellan Town Centre, Narellan – 6 pm to 7 pm

Saturday 3 October: Fitness First, Carlingford (all attendees other than those in the pilates class notified above): 8 to 9:15am

Sunday 4 October: Penrith Homemaker Centre, Penrith – 11 am to 1 pm

Sunday 4 October: Guzman y Gomez, Penrith – 1:30 pm to 2 pm

Sunday 4 October: Home Co, Penrith – 2 pm to 2:30 pm

Monday 5 October: Westfield Parramatta – 9:30 am to 11 am

Monday 5 October: Castle Towers Shopping Centre, Castle Hill – 12 pm to 1 pm


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Ontario premier issues stern warning on second ‘wave or tsunami,’ Quebec enters red alert

COVID-19 In Canada
COVID-19 In Canada

Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches move into the red alert level

Quebec Premier François Legault announced Monday that the regions of Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches are moving into the red alert level, the most critical alert level in the province.

From Oct. 2 to Oct. 28, only people living at the same address can be inside a home at the same time, with an exception for a single caregiver.

Dining rooms in restaurants will be closed, but take-out services will be allowed, and other public spaces like bars, theatres, casinos and cinemas must shut down operations.

Places of worship can operate with a maximum of 25 people. Everyone must stay two metres apart outside and they must where a mask when that is not possible.

“We also need to reduce our contacts everywhere in Quebec,” Legault said. “We cannot wait for the red alert.”

“The number of cases is rising, if we don’t want our hospitals to be submerged, if we want to limit the number of deaths we must act strongly right now.”

Ontario could see thousands of COVID-19 cases a day in second wave

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, explained that there are two models for the future of the province’s second wave, one that would lead to thousands of new cases a day.

The “most concerning” model is the “penultimate or the tsunami-type wave” where there is rapid exponential growth in cases that impacts the whole province.

“We would be up and having anywhere from three to four to five thousand new cases a day,” Dr. Williams said at a press conference on Monday.

The second model is identified by “undulating waves” and would continue into 2021, but modellers have not identified how big each of these shorter waves would be.

“This is a wakeup call for us, we have to pay attention to this in a serious way,” the Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said.

Dr. Williams added that considerations are still being brought forward to the public health measures table related to moving all of Ontario, or certain areas of the province, back to Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening plan. He added that the core difference between the COVID-19 situation now and when restrictions were initially put in is that virus was all over the province, instead of mainly being identified in more urban areas of Ontario. Dr. Williams confirmed that some of the recommendations being put forward are “pan-Ontario” measures and restrictions.

The province’s chief medical officer of health asked the public to be cautious about who they interact with, particularly individuals who are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

“We’re getting some people out there who are basically saying, we don’t really care about the rules and we’re going to be cavalier about it,” Dr. Williams explained. “I would avoid contact with those people…because you have no idea, and they have no idea, if they’ve been exposed or not at this stage.”