COVID-19 update for June 12: Premier says changes to cruise ship rules are temporary | 180 new cases, one death | Controversial Brazillian virologist says he’s been invited to teach at BCIT

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 June 12, 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 June 11:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 146,176 (1,880 active cases)
• New cases since June 10: 180
• Total deaths: 1,730 (one new death)
• Hospitalized cases: 162
• Intensive care: 45
• Total vaccinations: 3,893,581 doses administered; 497,932 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 142,526
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 7

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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: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021

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. – Controversial Brazilian virologist says he’s been invited to teach at BCIT; BCIT says not so fast

The B.C. Institute of Technology has come under fire after a controversial Brazilian virologist posted on Facebook that he has been invited to teach at the post-secondary institution.

As dozens of people took to social media in protest, BCIT released a statement saying Paolo Zanotto had contacted the school to arrange a visit, but approval is “pending.”

“This guy shouldn’t be linked to a respected institution like BCIT,” said Carlos Santiago, a BCIT alumnus who moved to Canada from Brazil eight years ago.

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Many people blame the Brazilian government and the country’s health experts for its catastrophic COVID-19 death toll, which was worsened by a sluggish vaccination campaign.

“That disregard for science and community is not the kind of influence I want in Canada,” said Santiago.

In early June, Brazilian media published a video of a September meetingbetween Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and a group of scientists, including Zanotto, during which the need to buy vaccines was minimized in favour of possible COVID-19 treatments.

At one point, Zanotto said the president should tread carefully when selecting a vaccine because it’s difficult to develop a vaccine for coronaviruses. He seemed to suggest that a good vaccine for Brazil might never be developed. He then said the president could create a “shadow cabinet” of scientists to advise him on vaccination.

Many have seized on the comments to support a belief that the president was ignoring advice from the country’s health ministry in favour of dubious scientists who supported treatments such as hydroxychloroquine or wanted to achieve herd immunity by allowing the virus to run unchecked through the population. A parliamentary inquiry examining the government’s response to the pandemic has expressed interest in speaking to Zanotto about his comments.

In a tweet posted Wednesday, BCIT said Zanotto isn’t an adjunct professor and he contacted the school to arrange a “short-term, unpaid, non-teaching academic visit” related to research on water purification. Such visits are subject to two vetting processes, said the post, including an internal process at BCIT and an external federal process. “This individual’s request is pending.”

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The post was prefaced by a statement saying BCIT “strongly supports and encourages the use of approved vaccines.”

-Glenda Luymes

5 a.m. – B.C. premier says changes to U.S. cruise ship rules remain temporary

British Columbia’s premier says legislation proposed in the United States that would scrap a long-standing requirement for American cruise ships to dock at a foreign port between domestic stops doesn’t change the fact people want to visit B.C.

The “machinations of U.S. politics” on a given day don’t change the draw for people to travel up B.C.’s coast, said Premier John Horgan, adding he doesn’t believe there’s anything the B.C. government can do about decisions made in the U.S. Senate.

Horgan told a news conference on Friday that he’s passionate about making sure B.C. can welcome visitors once pandemic-related travel restrictions are lifted, but he doesn’t “regret not yelling louder at people who would not have been listening.”

Utah Sen. Mike Lee has introduced three bills to repeal and reform the 135-year-old Passenger Vessel Services Act, saying in a statement this week that it’s an “outdated, protectionist law” that benefits Canada and harms American jobs.

International cruise ships are banned in Canadian waters until the end of February due to the pandemic, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation last month that allows the ships to bypass B.C. ports until that restriction is lifted.

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Horgan said he spoke on Thursday with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was behind the legislation, and she assured him the law only applied until Canada lifts its restrictions, while Lee’s proposed changes would not be temporary.

“We’re in a global pandemic. The United States, on a good day, is difficult to govern,” Horgan said Friday. “To suggest that somehow I could have thrown myself in front of this bus and stopped it is the height of hubris in my mind.”

Until the pandemic hit, about 1.7 million cruise passengers visited Vancouver and Victoria every year, he said.

-The Canadian Press

5 a.m. – Heart inflammation in young men higher than expected after Pfizer, Moderna vaccines, CDC

A higher-than-expected number of young men have experienced heart inflammation after their second dose of the mRNA COVID-19 shots from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, according to data from two vaccine safety monitoring systems, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Thursday.

The CDC and other health regulators have been investigating heart inflammation cases after Israel’s Health Ministry reported that it had found a likely link to the condition in young men who received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The agency said it is still assessing the risk from the condition and has not yet concluded that there was a causal relationship between the vaccines and cases of myocarditis or pericarditis.

While some patients required hospitalization, most have fully recovered from their symptoms, the CDC said.

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-Reuters

12 a.m. – Health officials announce one new outbreak, one additional death

There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Rotary Manor Dawson Creek in the Northern Health region.

B.C. recorded 180 new cases of the virus and one new COVID-19 related death on Friday, bringing the death toll to 1,730.

Of the total population, 75.1 per cent of all adults in B.C. and 73.1 per cent of those 12 and older have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The federal government has also confirmed a significant additional shipment of Moderna later this month.


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES


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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