COVID-19 update for May 3 : Canada to receive 2m vaccine doses this week | Vaccine bookings continue for 50+ | Possible COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto quarantine hotel

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 May 3, 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 30:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 129,482 (7,886 active cases)
• New cases since April 26: 740
• Total deaths: 1,581 (4 new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 511
• Intensive care: 174
• Total vaccinations: 1,749,375 doses administered (90,296 second doses)
• Cases under public health monitoring: 11,727
• Recovered: 119,785
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 12

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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.

On Friday, B.C. reported 740 new coronavirus cases as well as four additional deaths.

Out of 7,886 active cases, 511 people were in hospital with COVID-19, including 174 in intensive care.

The death toll from COVID-19 in B.C. was at 1,581.

6:30 a.m. – Seize on pandemic-fuelled enthusiasm for outdoors to expand protected wilderness, former parks chief urges

A former Parks Canada head says governments should look to expand protected wilderness in Canada, seizing on the enthusiasm for the outdoors that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it does help alleviate the potential impacts on existing parks and I think it creates new opportunities for people to connect with nature,” said Alan Latourelle, who headed the federal agency between 2002 and 2015. “We have a base of public support that we should seize at this time.”

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The pressures of urban sprawl makes it more difficult to protect spaces in urban areas, and, particularly in the north, competing land uses — mainly the desire for resource extraction — pose a challenge for additional protected spaces, said Latourelle.

“I think we’re the last generation that has the opportunity to make a significant expansion of our parks program,” he said.

In recent weeks, Alberta’s government has moved to add user fees to some of its protected areas, citing the conservation needs from increased visitors seeking to get out of the city. This includes a $90 annual pass for Kananaskis Country — an area just west of Calgary — and $30 fees for random camping on Crown lands.

— Postmedia News

6:10 a.m. – Toronto public health looking into possible COVID-19 outbreak at quarantine hotel

Toronto public health officials are investigating a possible COVID-19 outbreak at a hotel where travellers arriving in Canada by plane are expected to quarantine.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Toronto Public Health says it is aware of cases in people linked to the workplace at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

The agency says it has assigned staff to identify all cases connected to the facility and advise on any appropriate health and infection-control measures.

It says no further details will be provided at this time due to privacy concerns.

The Crowne Plaza is listed as one of the designated quarantine hotels for travellers arriving in Canada through Toronto.

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The federal government requires anyone flying into the country to isolate in a hotel for three nights to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

— The Canadian Press

5:20 a.m. – Canada to receive 2m vaccine doses this week as Pfizer-BioNTech ramp up deliveries

Canada is set to begin receiving more than two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine each week as the two pharmaceutical firms ramp up their deliveries and begin shipping shots from the United States.

Pfizer and BioNTech have been consistently delivering around one million doses from Brussels each week since mid-March, but those numbers will double over the next month before increasing further in June.

This week’s doses will also be the first to arrive from Pfizer’s plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., after the U.S. government previously restricted vaccine exports to inoculate its own citizens.

There was no immediate word, however, on progress in talks with the U.S. over the provision of more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is in high demand across the country.

Federal Public Service and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said on Friday that Ottawa was “being very aggressive, especially with the supplier.”

Demand for the shot has skyrocketed after several provinces dropped the eligible age for the vaccine to 40-plus, and Anand has said Canada will receive four million total doses by the end of June, but the government does not have a detailed schedule of when they will actually arrive.

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The Pfizer-BioNTech doses are the only shots scheduled for arrival in Canada over the next seven days, with Moderna slated to deliver its next shipment of more than one million doses next week.

The feds also haven’t said when they will release doses of the single-shot vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, after the first 300,000 jabs arrived in Canada last week.

More than 173,000 new vaccinations were reported across the country on Saturday, bringing the total number of doses given to 13,825,476.

Nationwide, 1,128,778 people or 3 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

— The Canadian Press

5 a.m. – Vaccine bookings to begin for 50+ over the next week

Everyone in the province 50 years and older (born 1971 or earlier) registered to get a COVID-19 vaccine will be receiving an email or text notification in the coming week inviting them to book an appointment, as the province’s age-based program moves ahead.

People must be registered through B.C.’s Get Vaccinated system to get an email or text notification prompting them to book an appointment when it is their turn. Anyone who is not registered should register in one of three ways:

People 50 and up can expect to start receiving the email and text notifications on the following days:

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  • Friday, April 30: 56 and up (1965 or earlier)
  • Sunday, May 2: 54 and up (1967 or earlier)
  • Tuesday, May 4: 52 and up (1969 or earlier
  • Thursday, May 6: 50 and up (1971 or earlier)

12 a.m. – Metro Vancouver hospitality’s front line still slammed by pandemic

Downtown Vancouver bartender Jamie Mah used to boast that hospitality was something close to recession-proof.

“Because when, you know, things go dour, people still want to eat and drink,” said Mah, who usually tends bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel. “But I wasn’t expecting a pandemic. That was the one thing I wasn’t predicting.”

Over the last 13 months, it has been a roller coaster for Mah — from a high of business being the best he had seen just before COVID-19, to the low of a three-month lockdown last spring with the fear and uncertainty that came along with it.

Restaurants and bars have been slower to recover from last year’s pandemic-related shutdown than other sectors of the economy as venues adjusted to restrictions designed to limit direct contact between people.

Limited seating capacities and shorter operating hours require less staff, and leave fewer shifts available for servers and bartenders.

Industry insiders estimate that employment in restaurants and bars was down by about 30 per cent before the Dr. Henry’s March 29 “circuit-breaker,” said Ian Tostenson, CEO of the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, which represents about 60,000 workers.

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“It could be another 10,000 people higher than that, just because in-store dining has been shut,” he added.

— Derrick Penner


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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