COVID-19 update for April 27: Seventeen more deaths | Police departments wait for direction on enforcement of new travel restrictions | Nurses mourn death of a colleague

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 27, 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 26:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 126,249 (8,199 active cases)
• New cases since April 23: 2,491
• Total deaths: 1,571 (17 new deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 484
• Intensive care: 158
• Total vaccinations: 1,635,372 doses administered (89,035 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 12,340
• Recovered: 116,241
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 15

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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. – Health officials are set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

5 a.m. – Colleagues, family members mourn B.C.’s first known death of nurse from COVID-19

The nurses’ union is calling on people to do everything they can to reduce the spread of the virus after death of a nurse.

Diana Law was remembered in her obituary as a giving person, one who was very easy to talk to and who was quick to step in to help when needed. Her family thanked the staff at VGH’s ICU for their care during Law’s long stay.

Some 50 names, including Law’s, appear on the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions’ (BCNU) list of Canadian health workers who have died of COVID-19.

In January, the first month of Law’s time in the ICU, more than eight per cent of the province’s COVID-19 cases were health-care workers, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

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Christine Sorensen, head of the B.C. Nurses’ Union, said she was incredibly saddened to hear of Law’s death. She described Law as deeply committed to her work, caring and attentive to her patients, and admired by her colleagues.

“Her patients, her family and her colleagues will miss her terribly,” Sorensen said. “On behalf of BCNU and all of the 48,000 nurses that we represent across B.C., I extend my deepest condolences.”

Nurses have been contributing extraordinarily to patient care in B.C. over the last year and have remained fearful that they could become sick or that one of their colleagues could pass away during the pandemic, Sorensen said.

“Nurses will be continue to do everything that they need to do to care for the patients in B.C., but this news will weigh heavily and raise concerns, and they are calling on the provincial government and the public to do everything they can to reduce the spread of this virus and to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

-Matt Robinson

5 a.m. – Police await enforcement powers for B.C. travel restrictions amid warning from legal community

B.C. police departments are still waiting for direction from the province on how they’ll enforce the province’s new travel restrictions, which lawyers warn could be legally dubious.

A public health order which came into effect Friday means that British Columbians who travel between health authorities for non-essential reasons could face a $575 fine. The order, in effect until May 25, divides 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.

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Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said Friday the orders will be enforced through police checkpoints set up at the borders between the three regions during times associated with leisure travel. Farnworth promised to allocate provincial funds to ensure already-stretched police departments have the resources to staff such checkpoints and said during question period Monday that more details on enforcement powers will come this week.

-Katie DeRosa

12 a.m. – Health officials report 17 deaths and 2,491 cases over the past three days

On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said 17 people died in B.C. from COVID-19 on the weekend.

Henry also said the B.C. Coroner’s Service had reported to her that an infant who died suddenly at B.C. Children’s Hospital in January had died from COVID-19. This makes two people aged under five who have died of the disease in the province.

There are 8,199 active cases of the disease, of which 484 are being treated in hospital including 158 in intensive care. There are 12,340 people in self isolation after being exposed to someone who had contracted COVID-19.

Henry said there are eight active COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and seven in hospitals.

There were 2,491 cases reported in B.C. over the past three days. As of Sunday, 89,035 people in B.C. are fully vaccinated, or 1.7 per cent of the population. So far 1,546,337 people have received at least one of the two does of vaccine required.

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12 a.m. –COVID-19: B.C. adds $75 million to ‘circuit breaker’ grant, including funds for hotels hit by new travel rules

B.C. will add another $75 million to its “circuit breaker” small-business relief program, including $25 million for hotels and accommodation operators that are cancelling bookings to comply with B.C.’s new travel restrictions.

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon said Monday up to 20,000 businesses could be eligible for $125 million worth of small-business grants.

“We know that the extension of these health orders that were announced late last week has been challenging for businesses throughout British Columbia,” Kahlon said.

Following the March 29 public health order that shuttered indoor dining at restaurants and barred group fitness classes, Kahlon announced that affected businesses would be eligible for a combined $50 million in funding. That initial $50 million was taken out of the $300 million set aside through the small- and medium-sized business recovery grant, which has faced criticism for being too onerous for businesses to qualify.

Kahlon said Monday the $75 million top-up is new money that comes out of the province’s $3.25 billion pandemic contingency fund.

-Katie DeRosa


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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