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Obesity may up risks of COVID-19 complications, but doctors still searching for why

In the early days of the pandemic, doctors noticed something about the people severely ill from COVID-19: many were obese.The link became more apparent as coronavirus swept across the globe and data mounted, and researchers are still trying to figure out why.Excess weight increases the chances of developing a number of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes, and those are among the conditions that can make COVID-19 patients more likely to get very sick.READ MORE: Canada’s rising COVID-19 reproduction rate ‘not a good sign’ as schools reopenBut there’s some evidence that obesity itself can increase the likelihood of serious complications from a coronavirus infection.One study of more than 5,200 infected people, including 35 per cent who were obese, found that the chances of h...

17 new coronavirus cases reported in Simcoe Muskoka over Labour Day long weekend, total at 733

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported 17 new coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the local total number of cases to 733, including 37 deaths.Twelve of the new cases involve people who are under the age of 35, including four who are under the age of 17.Eight of the new cases are in Barrie, Ont., while three are in Bradford, Ont., and two are in New Tecumseth, Ont. The other new cases are in Ramara, Innisfil, Wasaga Beach and Huntsville, Ont.One of the cases is related to an institutional outbreak in Barrie, while another is related to a workplace outbreak in Huntsville.Seven of the new cases are a result of close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, while three are travel-related and one is community-acquired. The rest are under investigation. Story continues below adverti...

Quebec court upholds back-to-school plan requiring in-class attendance

A group of Quebec parents have been denied a temporary safeguard order in their bid to secure access to online learning for all students during the novel coronavirus pandemic.Quebec Superior Court Justice Frédéric Bachand issued his ruling Tuesday, saying the evidence presented by the plaintiffs did not justify emergency intervention until the full challenge can be heard.”While the restriction is being upheld, the parents will be able to make their arguments against the province’s back-to-school plan in more exhaustive detail before the court during the fall. Trending Stories The group, which consists of mothers from the Greater Montreal area, wants the government to offer distance education for families who don’t want their children to physically attend school to be able to keep them at h...

The importance of Phase 3 trials for a coronavirus vaccine — and why it can’t be rushed

The race to find a coronavirus vaccine continues as pharmaceutical companies and governments around the world continue to conduct clinical trials — and many of them are reaching the critical Phase 3 step.There are currently 34 vaccine candidates in various clinical trial phases, including one in Canada, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And as some clinical trials come close to creating a vaccine for the public, the race has sparked safety concerns over hurrying an inoculation.On Sept. 4, the WHO warned against rushing a vaccine, especially during the Phase 3 clinical trials.“This Phase 3 must take longer because we need to see how truly protective the vaccine is and we also need to see how safe it is,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said during a media conference. Story c...

Sask. announces $51 million in 1st round of COVID-19 school division funding

The province has approved $51 million in funding for school divisions, which welcomed students back into their classrooms amid the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday.The money is for “emergent one-time expenses associated with a safe return to school,” Saskatchewan Education Minister Gordon Wyant said at a press conference Tuesday morning.“I would expect school divisions… would likely be anticipating that they would be receiving some additional funds,” Wyant said. “There are a number of school divisions, at least the ones that I’ve talked to, that were already making some plans.”The minister said he now expects school divisions can go full-steam ahead.The money comes from Saskatchewan’s COVID-19 contingency fund for education — a “pool of funding” that consists of about $150 million from prov...

SHA issues COVID-19 alert for 4 Meadow Lake locations

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for four locations in Meadow Lake.According to a release, issued Monday, an individual who tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus was likely infectious when at the following locations:Lion’s Gate, on the southwest edge of Meadow Lake along Highway 4, on Wed. Aug. 26 between 8 a.m. and noon, and again on Friday, Aug. 28 from 9 a.m. until noon.Lakeview Park, at 304 8 Avenue East, on Wed. Aug. 26 between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.Gateway Park, at 507 5 Ave W, on Thur. Aug 27 between 9 a.m and 11 a.m.The park at Jubilee School, 718 5 Avenue West, on Fri. Aug. 28 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.The Health Authority is advising anyone at those locations during the times listed who have or are experiencing sympt...

SAIT students return to smaller classes as temporary layoffs announced and some programs deferred

The SAIT campus in Calgary will be a quiet place this month as far fewer students go to class.SAIT Campus Centre and the bookstore are among the buildings closed.Only students and employees on campus for classes have access to classrooms and labs, and student services remain online, including the library.“Campus buildings are closed. Club events can’t be held. We can’t have orientation events,” said Tim Holowachuk, a director with SAIT Students’ Association (SAITSA).“All of those social programs are effectively shuttered for the moment. While we are trying to find things that respect social distancing guidelines and give at least a semblance of community for students, we are finding it really tough.”Tuition increasesHolowachuk said the group has been asking for a deferral on tuition increa...

Manitoba sees 15 new COVID-19 cases Labour Day Monday

Manitoba public health officials say there are 15 new cases of COVID-19 identified as of 9:30 a.m. Monday. This brings the total number of cases in Manitoba to 1,338.1 case in the Interlake-Eastern health region1 case in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region6 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region7cases in the Winnipeg health regionThe province says preliminary case investigations indicate that five of the cases are related to close contacts. Trending Stories Story continues below advertisement Case investigations are ongoing and health officials say if a public health risk is identified, the public will be notified. The current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 1.3 per cent. Right now there are 412 known active cases and 910 individuals have recovered from COVID-19. 3:0...

China coronavirus vaccine candidate appears safe for older people: preliminary results

Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd said on Monday its coronavirus vaccine candidate appeared to be safe for older people, according to preliminary results from an early to mid-stage trial, while the immune responses triggered by the vaccine were slightly weaker than younger adults.Health officials have been concerned about whether experimental vaccines could safely protect the elderly, whose immune systems usually react less robustly to vaccines, against the virus that has led to nearly 890,000 deaths worldwide.Sinovac’s candidate CoronaVac did not cause severe side effects in a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials launched in May involving 421 participants aged at least 60, Liu Peicheng, Sinovac’s media representative, told Reuters.The complete results have not been published and were not ma...

As recall list grows, here are some hand sanitizer dos and don’ts

The federal government has placed more than 80 hand sanitizers on a recall list, citing possible health risks.READ MORE: Health Canada recalls some hand sanitizers over industrial grade ethanol contentAccording to a recall and safety alert, the products are being recalled because they are not properly labelled or contain ingredients that are not approved by Health Canada, which may cause headaches or skin, eye or respiratory system irritation.READ MORE: Accidental ingesting of hand sanitizer on the rise in B.C. since coronavirus pandemicCanadians using the products on the list are being asked to stop using them and contact the company if they want more information or speak with a health care professional if they have concerns about the products. Story continues below advertisement So, what...

COVID-19 case confirmed at northwest Calgary high school

Several students at Bowness High School in northwest Calgary have been ordered to self-isolate for 14 days after a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed at the school.A number of parents with students in Grade 10 and 11 at the high school have confirmed to Global News that they received a call from Health Link to notify them of the positive case, and to direct the students deemed close contacts to isolate.The school’s principal, Jana Macdonald, confirmed the case Saturday evening in a letter posted to the school’s website.“Our school remains open to in-person learning for all students, and we are working closely with AHS to ensure necessary measures continue to be in place to protect all staff and students,” Macdonald wrote in the letter. “All students directed to quarantine by AHS will ...

Manitoba sees 29 new COVID-19 cases Sunday; more than 400 active in province

Manitoba public health officials have identified 29 new cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday morning. This brings the total number of cases in Manitoba to 1,323.1 case in the Interlake-Eastern health region1case in the Northern health region3 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region7 cases in the Southern Health–Santé Sud health region17 cases in the Winnipeg health regionThe current five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate is 1.2 per cent. Trending Stories Story continues below advertisement Right now there are 409 known active cases and 898 individuals have recovered from COVID-19.There are currently 13 people in hospital and two people in intensive care while the number of deaths due to COVID-19 is 16. 5:23 Coronavirus: 28 new cases of coronavirus reported in Manitoba, outbreak declared at 3...

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