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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

VA Governor Credits Lack Of Spread Among Staff To Mask-Wearing

RICHMOND, VA — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was cleared to hold in-person meetings Monday after spending 18 days in isolation due to a positive test for the coronavirus that caused minor symptoms in the governor. Both Northam and his wife — Pamela Northam — tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept. 25, a day after a worker in the governor’s mansion received a positive test after showing symptoms.

The local health department in Richmond performed contact tracing of 65 people who had come into close contact with Northam over a period of 48 hours prior to his positive test, all of whom were instructed to quarantine. None of the 65 people, many of whom were staff members, showed any symptoms for the coronavirus or tested positive during their quarantine period, and all of them are back to work, the governor said Tuesday at a news conference in Richmond.

Northam said the lack of spread among his staff demonstrates the effectiveness of wearing masks while on the job. “I truly believe that it is a testament to wearing these masks,” he said.

“My press secretary and official photographer and security detail traveled with me for several hours at a time the week that Pam and I were diagnosed,” Northam explained. “And we wear our masks in the car or on the plane, and thankfully none of them got sick. I would remind every Virginian, masks are scientifically proven to reduce the spread of this disease, plain and simple.”

Northam compared the lack of spread of the coronavirus among his staff to what happened at the White House Rose Garden ceremony where President Donald Trump introduced Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court. Many people who attended the event, including Trump, have since tested positive for the coronavirus.

“A gathering where people cavalierly sat together, stood together, hugged each other … no masks, no social distancing, and look at the number of people who tested positive,” the governor said. “We talk about science. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.”

“The guidelines that we are following in Virginia, they work,” Northam emphasized. “And when we don’t follow those guidelines, we have outbreaks like you saw in Washington.”

Northam said that both he and his wife are no longer experiencing any symptoms of the coronavirus. But the governor stressed that he understands their experience with the disease was mild compared to the thousands of Virginians who have been hospitalized and died from COVID-19.

Virginia Coronavirus Data

On Tuesday, 1,235 new coronavirus cases were reported in Virginia, bringing the cumulative total to 160,805 cases. The positive average of PCR tests is at 4.5 percent statewide.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, there have been 3,372 deaths and 11,598 hospitalizations among COVID-19 patients in Virginia. Tuesday’s total reflected 11 new deaths across the state.

On a regional basis, the eastern and northwest regions reported a positive average of PCR tests at 4.0 percent as of Oct. 9. Other regional

Over 80% of coronavirus cases lack ‘core’ symptoms when tested: study

Estimates of asymptomatic coronavirus cases are around 40-45% according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the World Health Organization previously projecting a similar estimate, though a new study suggests silent spreaders could comprise more than three-quarters of cases.

Researchers from University College London published their peer-reviewed findings on Thursday in Clinical Epidemiology.

“Little is known about what proportion of infectious people are asymptomatic and potential ‘silent’ transmitters,” study authors wrote. They used data from the Office for National Statistics Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey pilot study, which surveys households in England.

Up to 86% of infected individuals reported no symptoms specific to COVID-19 when they were tested, per the study. (iStock)

Up to 86% of infected individuals reported no symptoms specific to COVID-19 when they were tested, per the study. (iStock)

UCLA NEW $10 COVID TEST CAN PROCESS THOUSANDS OF RESULTS IN A DAY

Of 36,061 people who were tested between April 26 and June 27, 625 (1.7%) reported symptoms on the day of the test. Of the total, just 115 people tested positive, and of those, 76.5% reported no symptoms when they were tested, while 86% listed no symptoms specific to COVID-19.

The study focused on “core” symptoms like cough, fever and loss of taste or smell.

Researchers said the findings suggest that symptom-based testing will not fully capture silent, or asymptomatic, transmission, and “our analyses suggest that asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 were widespread in the UK in Spring 2020.”

They called for a change in future testing strategies to prevent future outbreaks and advised frequent, widespread testing regardless of symptoms. They said this could be possible by developing “simpler tests that produce rapid results at low cost, accepting some loss of sensitivity.”

Nevertheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises confirming results from rapid tests with a more sensitive test like an RT-PCR/nasal swab. The agency also advises 14-day self-quarantine following exposure or travel, even if virus tests return negative.

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