COVID-19 update for April 20: 849 new cases and one death | COVID-sick people arriving in Vancouver from international hotspots | 35 and older can 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 20, 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 20:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 120,889 (9,145 active cases)
• New cases since April 19: 849
• Total deaths: 1,539 (1 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 456
• Intensive care: 149
• Total vaccinations: 1,414,644 doses administered (88,262 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 13,679
• Recovered: 109,973
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 11

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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.

3 p.m. – Active cases fall as seven-day daily average flattens

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has reported 849 new cases of COVID-19 and one death over the past day.

Henry said there were now 9,145 active cases of the disease, of which 456 were being treated in hospital including 148 in intensive care. While hospitalizations are rising, average daily case count, active cases and the number of people in self isolation is falling. Those numbers had all been on the rise until today’s bulletin.

Of the active cases, 163 are related to one of the three COVID-19 variants circulating in B.C.

Henry said there had been two new health-care facility outbreaks, at the Surrey Memorial Hospital and Dawson Creek Hospital. The outbreak at the Long Lake Chateau in Nanaimo – leaving 11 active health-care facility outbreaks.

2:15 p.m. – New outbreak declared at Surrey Memorial Hospital

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Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Surrey Memorial Hospital after five patients tested positive for the disease.

The health authority says the outbreak is limited to one medicine unit.

“The emergency department at Surrey Memorial Hospital remains open and there has been no impact to any other areas of the hospital,” Fraser Health said.

1 p.m. – COVID-sick people continue to arrive in Vancouver from international hotspots

COVID-sick people continue to arrive in Vancouver from India – where mutations are out of control.

According to latest data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, 10 flights arrived in Vancouver from Delhi between April 6 and 16 with sick people on board – and in some cases with several sick people on board.

To be allowed to board a flight to Canada all passengers aged five and over must show a negative COVID-19 taken within three days of departure.

David Carrigg

9:45 a.m. – Trudeau booking a vaccine appointment

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland both say they are seeking appointments at a pharmacy to get vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19.

Both Trudeau, 49, and Freeland, 52, became eligible today when Ontario dropped the age to get that vaccine to 40 and above.

Trudeau says he is still working out the details for getting his shot, while Freeland says she has her children online trying to get her an appointment and is now on a waitlist.

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– The Canadian Press

9:15 a.m. – B.C. looking at roadblocks, not random stops, to enforce travel restrictions

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the province is considering using police roadblocks, rather than random traffic stops, to enforce pending COVID-19 travel restrictions.

On Monday, Premier John Horgan said the province would introduce travel restrictions on Friday designed to prevent movement between health regions. Horgan said police would empowered to conduct random road checks and hand out fines to those caught travelling outside their local health authority for non-essential reasons.

Farnworth, however, says random traffic stops have been ruled out.

“Our intention is to discourage recreational and leisure travel – not punish people –  and we are not interested in disrupting commuters and people going about their lives. At this time, the details of the order are still being finalized, and I’ll have more to say later in the week,” he said.

The province is examining using roadblocks, similar to those used in Counterattack anti-drinking and driving campaigns, set up at places like BC Ferries terminals or on Highway 1 leaving the Lower Mainland, to discourage recreational travel.

“We’ll also be focused on making sure these new orders do not unfairly impact racialized communities, and we’ll be taking steps to make sure we get this right,” Farnworth said.

7 a.m. – British Columbians ages 35 and up can register for a vaccine

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Registration opens today for British Columbians ages 35 and up.

The Ministry of Health’s registration schedule for its age-based immunization program calls for people 30 and up to register on Wednesday, 25 and up on Thursday, and 18 and up on Friday.

Those 40 and older, all Indigenous adults, and those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable can register at any time.

Registration, which is just the first step in the immunization process, can be completed online at gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated, by telephone through a provincial call centre at 1-833-838-2323 (between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) or in-person at the nearest Service B.C. location.

6 a.m. – West Vancouver host fined more than $2,600 for breaking COVID-19 order

Police busted a non-COVID-compliant party at a West Vancouver home Sunday, and issued more than $2,600 in fines against the belligerent host.

Officers received an anonymous tip around 11 p.m. Sunday about a gathering at a house in the 300-block of Southborough Drive.

When officers arrived, they heard loud music and saw 10 to 15 people inside drinking and dancing and not wearing masks, said West Vancouver Police in a news release.

The attendees scattered to other parts of the house when they noticed police, and refused to answer the door.

Police talked to a 46-year-old woman who lived there. The woman was intoxicated, uncooperative, and was screaming at the officers when they were trying to identify her.

She was issued $2,630 in COVID-related fines for hosting a non-compliant event, as well as for belligerent behaviour.

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“This is not the time to be inviting guests into your home,” said West Vancouver Police Const. Kevin Goodmurphy. “We will not be tolerating reckless behaviour that could jeopardize the health and safety of others.”

6 a.m. – Federal body on immunization to update AstraZeneca guidelines today

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization will hold a news conference this afternoon to update its guidance on use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

NACI currently recommends that it should not be used in adults under 55 years of age, but Health Canada has licensed it for use in people over the age of 18.

B.C. dropped the age requirement for the AstraZeneca shot to 40 yesterday. Those eligible can now call a pharmacy to book their shot, which had so far been limited to people ages 55 to 65.

Manitoba also lowered its age requirement to 40 on Monday. Ontario and Alberta are doing the same as of today.

Editor’s note: The NACI briefing Tuesday was cancelled minutes before it was scheduled to begin, with no explanation.

— The Canadian Press

MONDAY

12 a.m. – B.C. announces travel restrictions, random roadside checks by police

B.C. Premier John Horgan on Monday announced sweeping new travel restrictions that prohibit people from travelling outside their health authority to stop the spread of COVID-19.

B.C. will bring in an order on Friday that means people could face a fine for non-essential travel outside their local health authority, with checkpoints across the province.

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Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth will issue orders under the Emergency Program Act which will allow police to do random roadside check spots, Horgan said, not unlike the check stops that target impaired drivers over the holiday season.

“They will be random and there will be a fine if you were travelling outside of your area without legitimate reasons.” Horgan said. He said the province will consult with Black and Indigenous communities and people of colour to ensure the new restrictions do not disproportionately target racialized people.

Horgan said the province is also working with tourism operators to ensure they’re not taking bookings from visitors outside their region. B.C. Ferries will also have reduced sailings and cancel bookings for recreational vehicles. The ferry service will contact passengers who have booked reservations and ask them if their travel is essential.

— Katie DeRosa

12 a.m. – Infant dies from COVID-19 at B.C. Children’s Hospital

An infant under two years of age has died from COVID-19 at B.C. Children’s Hospital, becoming the youngest person to die from the disease in Canada.

The provincial health officer said the infant lived in the Fraser Health region but was being treated at the hospital in Vancouver and had another health problem.

“Although this child had pre-existing health conditions that complicated their illness, it was the virus that caused their death,” Henry said. “It reminds us of the vicious nature of this virus.”

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Henry said there were 9,353 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., with 441 of those cases being treated in hospital, including 138 in intensive care. All these numbers are records.

There were eight COVID-19 deaths reported over the past three days in B.C. — bringing that total to 1,538 — and 2,960 new cases. The seven-day average daily case count, which had been accelerating, is starting to plateau.

— David Carrigg


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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