COVID-19 update for Sept. 7: B.C. government to provide details of vaccine pass rollout | Canada welcomes fully vaxxed international travellers | BCTF wants exposure notices publicly available

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 Sept. 7, 2021.

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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 Sept. 2
• Total number of confirmed cases: 168,325 (5,872 active cases)
• New cases since Sept. 1: 671
• Total deaths: 1,827 (three additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 215
• Intensive care: 118 (up two)
• Total vaccinations: 3,929,089 received first dose; 3,572,841 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 160,268
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 21 (one new)

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IN-DEPTH:Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


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

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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.

B.C. government to provide more information about the rollout of B.C.’s vaccine card

The provincial government is set to provide more details about the rollout of B.C.’s vaccine card, set to start on Sept. 13.

Premier John Horgan, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will be holding a news conference at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The proof-of-vaccination system will require people to show a vaccine pass to go to non-essential venues and access non-essential services such as restaurants, gyms, casinos, as well as attending indoor concerts, weddings and other events.

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Fully vaccinated foreign nationals are once again welcome on Canadian soil

As of midnight Monday night, quarantine requirements were eased for non-essential international travellers who have had a full
course of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, also known as
Covishield, or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson option.

To be eligible, travellers must have allowed at least 14 days to pass since their last vaccine shot and show proof of a negative molecular test for COVID-19 that’s no more than 72 hours old.

They are also required to use the ArriveCAN app or online web portal to upload their vaccination details.

Denis Vinette, vice-president of the travellers branch of the Canada Border Services Agency, says the agency will continue to conduct random tests of travellers at the border, a surveillance program that has been in place since the phased-in process of easing travel restrictions began earlier this summer.

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Direct flights from India and Morocco will remain suspended until at least later this month. Travellers from either country who take an indirect route to Canada will be required to produce a recent negative molecular test taken in a third country.

— The Canadian Press

Human-rights advocates concerned by B.C.’s vaccine card

The COVID-19 vaccine-card requirement being rolled out in British Columbia is popular with a public weary of pandemic restrictions, but disability, anti-poverty and civil-rights advocates worry it will be another layer of social isolation for their constituents.

The business community has also raised questions about their role in enforcing the rule.

Set to kick in Sept. 13, the measure will require people to show proof of vaccination to go to restaurants, casinos and gyms and indoor venues including concerts or sporting events, but won’t include a medical exemption for those who cannot be vaccinated. More details about its implementation are expected on Tuesday.

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“My initial reaction to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement of the B.C. vaccine card was frustration,” said Helaine Boyd, executive director of the Disability Alliance of B.C., who said the measure is open to a legal challenge as a contravention of B.C. Human Rights Code.

Henry couched the lack of a medical exemption as a temporary restriction on “discretionary activities,” but Boyd said swimming pools are included on that list, which will cut some disabled off from activities that count as hydrotherapy.

And generally, “I imagine that social isolation will be further exacerbated by this,” Boyd said.

Read more HERE.

— Derrick Penner

As school starts, BCTF, parents want data on COVID-19 in schools to be publicly available

Parents and educators are anxious about no longer receiving notices about COVID-19 exposure in schools even as the number of overall cases in the province is expected to rise this fall, the head of the B.C. Teachers Federation said Monday.

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Teri Mooring said previous notices weren’t perfect because they didn’t state how many cases of the virus were circulating, but at least they provided some indication about what was happening in schools.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said the notices created anxiety for parents, but Mooring said not having that information is creating more stress.

“I think the rationale about exposure notifications is a little bit insulting, in that they just created anxiety,” she said, adding a large number of the notices in Surrey, for example, highlighted that school district as a COVID-19 hot spot last year, prompting many teachers to quickly get vaccinated.

Mooring said that while notices will only be issued to those who are directly impacted, others would also now be concerned about potential exposure to the highly transmissible Delta variant, which wasn’t dominant during the last school year.

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She called for reliable data on exposure and case numbers in schools to be publicly available on the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website, the same as how case counts in all health regions are reported.

— The Canadian Press

Alberta cancels plans to end COVID-19 testing

Alberta has cancelled plans to end routine COVID-19 swab testing and isolation rules amid a rising fourth wave, as it also ramps up coronavirus sewage monitoring to cover most of the province by Oct. 1.

Chris Bourdeau, an Alberta Health spokesman, told Postmedia on Sunday testing people with COVID-19 symptoms will continue in its current form past Sept. 27. This is the second time the government has reversed course on halting routine testing. Cases have surged in recent weeks, as has criticism of the province’s plans to end COVID-19 protocols like testing, tracing and isolation.

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Bourdeau also confirmed Monday that 10-day mandatory isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19 or who have symptoms, as well as mandatory masking orders in public transit, taxis and ride-shares, will remain in place beyond Sept. 27. A new date to end these rules hasn’t been set.

Alberta brought back an indoor mask mandate and liquor sales curfew on Friday.

— Postmedia News

Mandatory vaccine debate adds dose of tension to workplace reopenings

A number of Toronto-Dominion Bank employees rolled up their sleeves this summer when they saw the company announce on its intranet messaging system that it was participating in the #ThisisOurShot vaccine campaign. But instead of getting a shot, they took to their keyboards.

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The Big Six bank in July said it was giving employees up to four hours of paid time off to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and an additional four hours if a second dose was required. It also touted a Cleveland Clinic pop-up vaccine clinic at TD Centre in downtown Toronto.

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a personal choice. To support you as you make your decision, TD is encouraging all colleagues to do their research in dispelling misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine from reliable sources,” the bank said in a post viewed by the Financial Post.

What followed was a fierce, weeks-long debate between staff who felt the vaccine was a no-brainer and those who had doubts or were dead-set against it.

“I believe we should mandate vaccines,” one TD employee in New York wrote. “The approach of an option in order to please all penalizes those that have selflessly vaccinated to protect others, while those that decide not to vaccinate put all of us at greater risk.”

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“No,” retorted a British Columbia employee. “You don’t get to dictate or mandate what gets injected into MY body. MY BODY MY CHOICE.”

— Financial Post

Canadians split on whether lack of vaccination is fireable offence, poll shows

As employees gradually begin returning to the office, a new poll suggests Canadians are divided on whether employers should have the right to fire those who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Conducted by Léger for the Association for Canadian Studies, the poll found 49 per cent of respondents believe employers should be able to fire employees in that situation, while 51 per cent believe they should not.

“It’s an issue of significant concern for employers, as it is for employees,” Jack Jedwab, the association’s president, said Monday. “And there’s a very deep divide on the topic.”

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The association has been looking at the different social and economic dimensions of the pandemic through regular surveys.

Jedwab said he could see the divide suggested in this latest poll becoming an issue as more and more employees are called back to the office.

If an employer finds themselves with several workers who refuse to get vaccinated and others who aren’t comfortable working around unvaccinated co-workers, for example, what are they supposed to do?

— Postmedia News


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

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and 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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