COVID-19 update for April 24-25: Four more deaths | Rally at Kits restaurant | New travel restrictions

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 24, 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 23:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 123,758 (8,842 active cases)
• New cases since April 22: 1,001
• Total deaths: 1,554 (4 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 486
• Intensive care: 160
• Total vaccinations: 1,542,066 doses administered (88,663 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 12,608
• Recovered: 113,139
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 14

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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.

5 a.m. – British Columbians banned from non-essential travel outside their health regions

British Columbians who travel between health authorities for non-essential reasons could face a $575 fine under a new order now in effect until after the May long weekend, the government announced Friday in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

However, civil liberties advocates and First Nations groups say they were not consulted on the measures and are concerned about the expansion of police powers which could disproportionately impact racialized people.

The new order will divide the province into three regional zones, a combined zone for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Valley, another one for the Northern/Interior regions and a third for Vancouver Island, said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth.

One exception is that Hope, served by Fraser Health, will be lumped in with Northern/Interior health. Also, that area of the Central Coast served by Vancouver Coastal Health will be lumped in the Northern/Interior Health.

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Police officers will establish checkpoints, similar to the roadblocks set up to catch impaired drivers, on major travel routes such as ferry terminals, Highway 1 into B.C.’s Interior and the Coquihalla Highway.

The police checkpoints will not be “arbitrary or random,” Farnworth said, rather they will be periodic checks at key points at the borders between the three regions. Farnworth released few details on where the police resources to staff the checkpoints will come from, saying more details will come next week.

-Katie DeRosa

5 a.m. – Two-thirds of B.C. youth struggling with mental health during the pandemic, new research shows

Two thirds of children and youth in British Columbia are struggling with mild-to-moderate mental health challenges during the pandemic, up from one third before the arrival of COVID-19, says new research from B.C. Children’s Hospital.

“This information is going to be very useful for what they call the shadow pandemic, or what’s going to fall out of the pandemic for years to come. It will tell us what kind of resources are needed and where geographically,” said study lead Dr. Quynh Doan, a pediatrician at the hospital and a UBC professor.

“Everybody’s realizing that there’s going to be a huge mental health cost to this pandemic.”

Preliminary results from Doan’s Child and Youth Mental Health During a Pandemic study found two thirds of participants reported mood issues, anxiety and suicidal ideation, deemed by researchers to be of mild to moderate concern. This compares to a study done two years ago, which found one third of youth at B.C. Children’s Hospital for non-mental-health issues experienced these psychiatric challenges.

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This increase happened during the pandemic, but Doan has not completed the analysis yet to explain why: because of school shutting down last spring, or the restrictions that curtailed social activity, or financial hardship due to a parent losing a job?

“I think it’s because of the whole thing — the uncertainty, the change in their lives, the worry that they might get (COVID), that someone in their family might get it,” she said.

-Lori Culbert

5 a.m. – B.C. tourism sector hunkers down as out-of-region visitors told to stay away

Despite COVID-19 protocols that take 21 pages to list online, St. Eugene RV Park in the East Kootenays has shut down its sprawling facility to anyone but locals and cancelled 130 of 150 bookings through the May long weekend.

“I lost a lot of reservations,” said manager Richard Grimm at the park owned by five First Nations. It includes a golf course, spa and casino. “Most of the reservations are from Alberta. That’s where our money comes from. We refunded a lot of people.”

“I hate phoning people. I hate turning people away. I hate saying no to money,” he said. “But we’ve got to follow the orders.”

St. Eugene is one of hundreds of private and public campgrounds and thousands of hotels and other accommodations affected by a new travel ban under the B.C.’s Emergency Program Act through to May 25 that restricts recreational travel.

“It’s going to mean significant revenue losses, there’s no doubt about it,” said Ingrid Jarret, president of the B.C. Hotel Association. “People have been cancelling like crazy.”

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-Susan Lazaruk

12 a.m. – 1,000 new cases, four additional deaths on Friday

B.C. reported 1,001 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing up the total of active cases in the province to 8,842.

There were four additional deaths, with a total death toll of 1,554 in B.C. since the pandemic began.

Hospitals continue to see high numbers of people with COVID-19 needing care, with 486 currently hospitalized, including 160 in critical care.

Vancouver Coastal Health recorded 215 new cases, Fraser Health saw 626 new cases; while Vancouver Island Health has 26, Interior Health, 93, and Northern Health 39. There were two additional cases of people who normally reside outside Canada contracting COVID-19.

12 a.m. – Corduroy restaurant holds rally, but industry spokesman calls it a ‘foolish mistake’

The owner of Vancouver’s Corduroy Lounge, which was shut down for flagrantly ignoring provincial health orders, held a rally outside the restaurant Friday.

Dozens of supporters could be seen gathered outside the Kitsilano restaurant after 6 p.m.

The owner claims to be taking a stand for small businesses, but Ian Tostenson, president of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, said her stance doesn’t reflect the majority of the industry, which is following the rules despite taking a revenue hit.

Her rallies, which draws anti-maskers and COVID-deniers, aren’t going to do her business any good. “This isn’t going to provide support for her,” he said. “It’s going to isolate her. I hope she would do it in a different way.”

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-Cheryl Chan


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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