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CJRO Radio News / Nouvelles CJRO Radio – April 13, 2020 and Local First – COVID Coping – Testing

Hello, bonjour, and welcome, to Carlsbad-Vars Radio, CJRO, at 107.7 and 107.9 FM in Carlsbad Springs, Vars, Edwards, Navan, parts of Russell, southeast Ottawa, and online, at CJROradio.com.

I’m Candice Vetter, reporting from my home office in North Russell.

Some written updates are also posted to our website, CJROradio.com. And we’ll continue our pandemic coverage with COVID Coping on Local First.

First off, the City of Ottawa has produced a new list of information and instructions.

It starts by reminding us that COVID-19 affects everyone regardless of age and current health status. As of last weekend 79 per cent of all confirmed cases in Ottawa were among people under age 65.

Staff will update the City’s website as changes come from the Ontario Ministry of Health. And I am discussing that list and some of the issues around testing on Local First’s third episode of COVID Coping, so tune in.

One hallmark of a crisis is rapid innovation. Spartan Bioscience of Ottawa just received Health Canada’s approval for its portable COVID-19 rapid-testing device. The owners have said they will fill Canadian orders ahead of any others. The federal and Ontario governments already have contracts in place for the testing kits. The kits will speed up testing capability, especially in rural and remote areas.

And of course, when there’s trouble, there’s someone taking advantage of it. I reported on two COVID-19 scams last week. Another one has arisen in some cities and will probably show up here soon. Scam artists are going door to door claiming to give COVID-19 tests on the spot. That is not happening (at least not yet) so do not let these people in or give them any information.

Many people who have put it off are now thinking about their mortality. Medical officers worldwide have publicly advised people to write out their end-of-life and disability plans. Do you need a power of attorney in case you are disabled or in hospital for a long time? Do you want to be resuscitated, intubated, ventilated? If not, you might look into Do Not Resuscitate orders. Do you have a will? Who are the guardians of your children? Who will execute your estate?

Well, the Ontario government has just made writing wills easier. It issued an emergency order to allow virtual signing of wills and powers of attorney through online video platforms.

Normally, in Ontario wills and powers of attorney must be witnessed by two people, who are not beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries. So this is a big help in reducing in-person contact while allowing people to plan their affairs.

Also, if you have wills that haven’t been updated for a long time, you can write a codicil, in long-hand (not typed), and sign and date it without a witness. One note of caution, make sure your executors and guardians are agreeable to your arrangements!

Now, let’s make a little switch to good news.

Carlsbad Springs resident, Don Phillipson, wrote CJRO last week, to praise of the Embrun Co-op Independent store on Notre Dame Street in Embrun. Since receiving his email I have been there myself and the increased physical distancing barriers they have implemented are reassuring. Staff everywhere still prefer delivery orders however. Grocery and drugstore staffing has gone from being a normal job to becoming a front-line worker in a pandemic, and the strain is obvious on staff’s faces. So do them a favour and avoid going into the store if you can.

Russell Township has listed all the restaurants in the township which are open or closed and which ones do only pick up and which ones do delivery. See Russell.ca for a cuisine change.

In the village of Russell the Spirit Tree in front of Russell Public School has been relit. Police Village of Russell trustee Greg Rokosh turned it on recently, as a way to cheer people up. The lower lights didn’t work properly, so it’s the upper half that’s lit. Rokosh said, “It symbolizes the rising up of our spirits out of darkness.” Appropriate for Easter weekend.

Do you have news that matters to our area? If yes, contact me by emailing newsCJRO@gmail.com.

CJRO – Last on the dial, first for local news.

Bulletin de Nouvelles de la semaine du 13 au 19 avril 2020

La Covid-19 continue de faire des ravages à Ottawa.

En date du 13 avril on compte maintenant plus de 561 cas du Coronavirus dans la capitale nationale. Onze personnes sont décédées et 171 ont été guéris. Au total dans la province on compte maintenant 7049 cas.

L’agence la santé publique d’Ottawa estime qu’il y a 12 points d’infections connus dans la ville dont l’hôpital d’Ottawa et des maisons de soins de longue durée.

Les mesures de distanciation sociale continue, la population est encouragée à rester chez eux et de se déplacer que si essentielle.

Afin de répondre aux besoins de la région dans la gestion de la COVID-19, une deuxième clinique de soins a ouvert jeudi dans l’est d’Ottawa. Elle sera gérée par l’Hôpital Montfort, en partenariat avec Santé publique Ottawa et le Centre de coordination des soins cliniques de la région .

La fonction principale de la clinique sera de traiter les personnes présentant des symptômes du coronavirus soit de la toux, fièvre qui ne peuvent être pris en charge à domicile. Elle sera située dans l’ancienne école intermédiaire St. Patrick de Guildwood Estates, 1485 chemin Heron, au coin de Alta Vista.

La clinique sera ouverte de 9 h à 16 h, du lundi au vendredi, incluant les jours de congé férié. Offrant des services en français et en anglais, la clinique sera équipée pour faire pouvoir des tests de diagnostic de base, tels que des radiographies du thorax et des tests de laboratoire.

La ville d’Ottawa se prépare présentement à faire face aux inondations annuelles du printemps. Pour l’instant la ville estime que les niveaux d’eau dans les rivières Rideau et des Outaouais sont normaux et proches de la normale, et que le risque en ce moment d’inondation importante est considéré comme faible.

La ville surveille à chaque jour les niveaux des eaux et la météo afin de se préparer à de possibles inondations.

Bien que les prévisions actuelles soient bonnes, de fortes précipitations et la fonte des neiges au nord d’Ottawa pourraient encore avoir des répercussions sur les niveaux des eaux dans les rivières Rideau et des Outaouais. Cependant, les températures en haut à zéro pendant la journée et légèrement inférieures au zéro la nuit sont idéales pour une fonte printanière lente sans inondation significative selon la ville d’Ottawa.

Les services offerts par les bibliothèques publiques d’Ottawa resteront suspendus jusqu’au 30 juin 2020.
La prolongation des fermetures temporaire des succursales de la BPO vise à ralentir la propagation de la COVID-19.

Les postes de retour sont aussi fermés et les citoyens sont encouragés à garder les articles empruntés à la maison avec eux jusqu’à la réouverture des succursales. Les dates de retour pour les articles empruntés ont été repoussées et des frais de retards ne seront pas appliqués.

Pour plus de renseignements veuillez consulter le site Web de la BPO

L’agence de la santé publique Ottawa a annulé le nettoyage printanier annuel des espaces publics en raison de la COVID-19. La population est cependant encouragée à nettoyer leurs terrains privés tout en pratiquant la distanciation sociale.

La ville d’Ottawa a aussi annoncé la prolongation de la fermeture de tous ses installations et services jusqu’au 30 juin 2020.

Local First – COVID Coping – Testing

Hello, bonjour, and welcome to Local First, your public affairs show. This is the third episode of COVID Coping.

I’m Candice Vetter, reporting from my home office in North Russell.

Additional written updates are also posted to our website, CJROradio.com.

Today’s theme is testing and treatment – where to go.

Following Premier Doug Ford’s call to increase testing, the province has released a ranked list of who should be tested. It starts with anyone who works directly with the public, and has symptoms. Next is healthcare workers or members of their households, who have symptoms. Followed by pregnant women with symptoms, returning travellers with symptoms, and close contacts of a probable case with symptoms. However, again it is only for people exhibiting symptoms. This is even though research shows almost one-quarter of COVID-19 infected persons show no symptoms, and that the virus seems to spread by asymptomatic persons, particularly children. This disease is very sneaky.

The asymptomatic virus-shedding prompted Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Theresa Tam, to change her directive on wearing masks. Dr. Tam now says that masks may help slow that type of spread. The directive also reinforces the need to avoid interacting physically with people if at all possible. Infectious disease specialists have also noticed that people who speak loudly (or moistly!) can spread very fine droplets further than two metres. Because they are very light, some of those droplets can stay suspended in air for quite a while, but they also disperse rapidly in air.

The City’s information also reminds the public to care for mental health as well as physical health. Step one suggests unplugging sometimes from social media or news, to give yourself a break. Step two: remember physical distancing doesn’t mean being alone. Reach out—even if you don’t have internet access there are telephones, letters and sometimes neighbours you can talk to from yard to yard. Step three: you are not alone. We’re all in this together. Step four: it’s okay not to feel okay. This is a stressful time with a future even more uncertain than usual. Step five: take care of your body. Exercise, eat well, catch up on sleep, get outdoors if you can.

You can see more at ottawapublichealth.ca.

Several mental health practitioners have also said that having a feeling of control, in a time when everything feels out of control, is helpful for maintaining equilibrium. So if there is a way you can help in this crisis, even if it’s doing one small thing once in a while, there are benefits. For example, one need which has come to light is tutoring for students. Using the internet, or a telephone, someone who has excellent grammar or math skills could coach a student who needs extra help. so finding a way to contribute can make you feel better.

Now for the big question: Where to go for testing?

This has been a moving target, literally.

So now, in Ottawa if you have mild symptoms you can go to the Brewer Park Assessment Centre at 151 Brewer Way across Bronson Avenue from Carleton University. You do not need an appointment. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

If you have worsening symptoms and need medical attention you should go to a COVID Care Clinic. There is one at St. Patrick’s Intermediate School, at 1485 Heron Rd., near the corner of Alta Vista Drive. It is being run by the Montfort Hospital. There is another one at 595 Moodie Drive in the West End, run by the Queensway Carleton Hospital.

If you are in distress, for example with difficulty breathing, chest pain, fainting, or have a significant worsening of symptoms, do not go to the Assessment Centre or Care Clinic. Go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 9-1-1.

Outside of Ottawa there are five local options for COVID-19 Assessment Centres. In Casselman at 872 Principale Street, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In Cornwall by appointment at 850 McConnell Avenue. Call 613-935-7762. In Hawkesbury at 750 Laurier Street, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In Rockland at 2741 Chamberland Street, Monday to Saturday, by appointment. Call 1-800-267-7120. And in Winchester at 515 Albert Street, Monday to Friday, noon to 6 p.m.

It is hoped that with the additional fast and portable kits developed by Spartan Bioscience of Ottawa testing can expand to everyone, whether or not they have symptoms. Then positive and negative patients in care facilities with outbreaks could be separated.

Antibody test kits have already been developed and are in use. With them people with sufficient antibodies to have temporary immunity can be found, which may help open the economy somewhat. Meanwhile work is accelerating on both developing a vaccine and on treatment. A SARS and MERS treatment (they are both also coronaviruses) was already in clinical trials. Those trials have now been sped up and adapted to COVID-19, with good prospects for a treatment that eases some of the respiratory symptoms. Another potential advance against the disease is the experimental use of blood plasma from people with antibodies.

However, medical professionals still say we are not staying ahead of the disease, and not even keeping pace—especially in institutions.

About 600 seniors’ residences in Canada have outbreaks, including several in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. Quebec and Ontario have been the worst hit, with grim news coming from Montreal and Bobcaygeon, but it’s not good anywhere for seniors. Half of all coronavirus deaths in Ontario were in long-term care facilities, nursing homes or retirement homes.

One of Canada’s foremost experts in geriatrics, Dr. Samir Sinha, issued a stark warning last week. He said, “If my mom was in long-term care, I would pull her out. Now.”

He acknowledged that not everyone can be looked after at home. But his advice is, if it is physically possible to care for your loved ones at home, get them out while you can.

If you have an interesting take on this crisis, contact me by sending an email to newscjro@gmail.com

Local First – CJRO, last on the dial, first for local news.

Stay home. Stay healthy.