COVID-19 update for April 10-11: Mass vaccinations in Whistler | Nine B.C. flights added to exposure list | Residents 60+ can now register for vaccine

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for April 10, 2021.

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on April 9:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 109,540 (9,574 active cases)
• New cases since April 8: 1,262
• Total deaths: 1,495 (2 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 332
• Intensive care: 102
• Total vaccinations: 1,025,019 doses administered
• Cases under public health monitoring: 15,673
• Recovered: 98,336
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 10

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IN-DEPTH:COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19 FAQ: What you need to know about the vaccine rollout in B.C.

COVID-19: Have you been exposed? Here are all B.C. public health alerts

COVID-19 at B.C. schools: Here are the school district exposure alerts

COVID-19: Avoid these hand sanitizers that are recalled in Canada

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS ON COVID-19 IN B.C.

SUNDAY

1 p.m. – COVID-19: Vaccinations available to all adults living or working in Whistler

Vancouver Coastal Health is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all adults living or working in Whistler beginning Monday.

The VCH will host vaccination clinics for those aged 18 to 54 at the Whistler Conference Centre.

Appointments, which must be made online at www.vchcovid19vaccine.com, can be booked starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Residents will have to provide proof of their permanent address in Whistler with a B.C. Driver’s Licence or a credit card statement with their Whistler address. Those working but not living in Whistler will be required to present a recent pay stub confirming their local employment.

The resort municipality has been a hotspot for COVID-19 transmission and ground zero for the ultra-contagious P.1 variant in British Columbia.

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– Scott Brown

12:30 p.m. – Man fired after not wearing mask for ‘religious reasons’ has human rights complaint dismissed

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed the complaint of a man who was fired from a job for refusing to wear a mask due to religious reasons.

In his human rights complaint, the man, who had been contracted to work at a facility, said wearing a mask went against his religious creed.

“We are all made in the image of God, a big part of our image that we all identify with is our face. To cover‐up our face arbitrarily dishonors God,” he wrote.

The written ruling, which was published April 8, does not identify the worker or the employee.

The man also argued that B.C.’s mask requirement infringes on his “God-given ability to breathe.” He also claimed that masks do not protect anyone from viruses and, therefore, he cannot “live the lie.”

In its ruling, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal said the man had failed to establish that his objection to wearing a mask was religious in nature.

– Scott Brown

9 a.m. – Nine more B.C. flights added to BCCDC exposure list

The B.C. Centre of Disease Control has added nine more flights, including a Harbour Air float plane and an international flight arriving in Vancouver from India, to its COVID-19 exposure list.

The following flights all had a confirmed COVID-19 case:

  • April 8: Air Canada 8625, Winnipeg to Vancouver
  • April 7: Air Canada 233, Calgary to Vancouver
  • April 7: Air India 185, Delhi to Vancouver
  • April 6: WestJet 449, Calgary to Victoria
  • April 5: Air Canada 201, Calgary to Vancouver
  • April 4: Air Canada 104, Vancouver to Toronto
  • April 1: Air Canada 212, Vancouver to Toronto
  • April 1: Harbour Air YB238, Victoria to Vancouver
  • March 29: Air Canada 8419, Kelowna to Vancouver

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The BCCDC advises all passengers on a domestic flight with a COVID-19 case to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, while passengers arriving on international flights are required to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

According to the BCCDC, there have been 27 flights with confirmed COVID-19 cases that either arrived in or departed from British Columbia since March 29.

8:45 a.m. – Ontario sets record for highest single-day case count 

Ontario set a new provincial record single-day high of new COVID-19 cases was reported on Sunday with 4,456, according to numbers released by health minister Christine Elliott.

There are 593 people in ICU across Ontario battling the virus — up 61 from the previous day. There were an additional 21 deaths reported Sunday in the province.

– The Canadian Press

8:15 a.m. – South African variant can ‘break through’ Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

The study, released on Saturday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease.

It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

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– Reuters

8:15 a.m. – Mexico reports 2,192 new coronavirus deaths after data review

Mexico’s government on Saturday reported 2,192 new confirmed coronavirus deaths, one of its biggest one-day tolls during the pandemic, after consolidating data from last year to include deaths that were not confirmed at the time.

The figure was far above the daily averages reported by the health ministry in recent weeks.

– Reuters

SATURDAY

2:45 p.m. – People aged 60+ can now register for COVID-19 vaccine

The B.C. Ministry of Health says B.C. residents aged 60 and older can now register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

People born in 1961 and earlier, Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable can now register to book their vaccine appointment through B.C.’s new Get Vaccinated system in one of three ways:

• Online, 24/7, at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated

• Through a provincial call centre between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 1-833-838-2323

• In-person at the nearest Service B.C. location.

There are three steps to register to book a vaccine appointment:

1. Register: First, register when it’s your turn and get a confirmation code.

2. Book: Book a vaccine appointment when you get an email, text or phone call telling you you’re eligible to book based on your age.

3. Get vaccinated: Visit a vaccine clinic to get your vaccine dose.

Registration is the first step. Once people are registered, they will be contacted when it is their turn to book a vaccine appointment.

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To preserve system capacity, health officials ask that you wait until your age group is called to register.

1:30 p.m. – B.C. Children’s Hospital hands out gargle tests to Vancouver schools

B.C. Children’s Hospital is handing out 1,200 COVID-19 gargle kits to Vancouver schools to help make testing easier for families.

If a students feel sick at school, they can take a kit home and collect their own sample in the comfort of their home with their parents or caregivers.

The sample can then be dropped off at any LifeLabs location or to the B.C. Children’s location listed in the kit. The hospital plans to send more kits to schools across B.C.

Dr. David Goldfarb, medical microbiologist and pediatric infectious disease physician at B.C. Children’s Hospital, said they conducted a pilot in the late fall at 10 schools in Vancouver.

“We found that there was lots of positive feedback from parents and teachers. So we wanted to find a way to scale it up and expand it to the rest of the Vancouver schools,” he said.

So B.C. Children’s partnered with LifeLabs to develop modified kits to distribute to more than 100 schools in the area.

5 a.m. – Canada’s ICUs see near record COVID-19 patients as new variant cases double over last week

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the country has reached a near record as the spread of more contagious variants drives up hospitalizations, prompting Ontario officials to scale back on non-urgent procedures.

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Canada’s chief public health officer said the number of new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern has doubled over the past week, with B.1.1.7, first identified in the U.K., “essentially replacing” pre-existing versions of the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam said the predominance of these strains is fuelling a rapid COVID-19 resurgence that is sending more patients to hospital with severe illness, including young people, and threatens to push intensive care units to their limits.

“The race between the vaccine and the variants is at a critical point,” Tam told reporters Friday. “It is clear that we need stronger control to combat variants of concern that are driving rapid epidemic growth in many areas of the country.”

Last week, hospitals treated an average of more than 2,500 patients with COVID-19 each day, up seven per cent from the previous week, said Tam.

That includes 860 patients in intensive care, she said, amounting to a 23 per cent increase over the previous week.

The recent rise in critical cases is approaching a peak seen earlier this year, when for the seven days ending Jan. 19 officials reported an average of 880 people in the ICU and 4,775 in hospital overall.

An average of more than 6,800 new cases and 30 deaths were reported daily over the past week, said Tam.

She said these numbers are consistent with the rapid resurgence trajectory outlined in federal forecasts two weeks ago.

— The Canadian Press

12 a.m. – More than 1,200 new cases, two deaths announced on Friday

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B.C. recorded 1,262 new cases of COVID-19 in the province on Friday, bringing the number of active cases to 9,574.

Out of the active cases, 332 people are in hospital with COVID-19, including 102 in intensive care.

Two people have died over the last 24-hour reporting period, bringing the death toll to 1,495.

In total, B.C. has 109,540 cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began.

B.C. hit a positive milestone on Friday: It has now administered over a million doses — 1,025,019 — of Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines. Out of this, 87,606 were second doses.

12 a.m. – B.C. added 35,000 jobs in March as economy continues to rebound from pandemic

B.C. added 35,000 jobs in March as the economy continues to rebound from the pandemic shutdown last year, according to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey Friday.

The unemployment rate for B.C. remained unchanged at 6.9 per cent, and still has a way to go to reach the pre-pandemic level of 5.1 per cent.

Most of the jobs were part-time and in health care and social assistance. Part-time jobs were also up in information, culture, and recreation, as well as manufacturing and construction.

Statistics Canada analyst Vincent Hardy said the job numbers were up from February when the province added 26,600 jobs but the province’s economy is still not where it was before COVID-19 forced the government to shut down business.

He said the number of youth employed is above pre-pandemic levels which is likely linked to the increase in part-time jobs last month.

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Overall, Statistics Canada says Canada’s unemployment rate fell to 7.5 per cent last month, down 0.7 percentage points from February, marking the lowest it has been since February 2020.


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

– With files from The Canadian Press

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